Pentagon acquisition chief Frank Kendall said he’s “neutral” about the prospect that United Technologies Corporation could spin-off its Sikorsky Helicopter business, a move UTC said late Wednesday it is considering. “Based on what I know about that deal,” Kendall told reporters March 12 at a Bloomberg defense event in Arlington, Va., he had no strong feelings about the idea, but he “just want[s] to make sure it doesn’t affect our prices much.” He’s guessing the possible move “should not impact us as far as cost.” UTC said March 11 it’s considering “strategic alternatives” for its Sikorsky business, which isn’t as profitable as the company’s other lines, including Pratt & Whitney engines, Aerospace Systems division, Otis elevator, or Carrier air conditioning. Sikorsky makes the UH-60 Blackhawk in its myriad variants—the HH-60W was chosen to be USAF’s new Combat Rescue Helicopter—as well as the Marine Corps CH-53, and various civil models. UTC said it would decide by the end of the year whether to spinoff Sikorsky, noting that profits on defense work are sluggish. In its annual industrial base assessment, the Pentagon has identified helicopters as an area where the US is in danger of losing adequate domestic supply.
May 5, 2021