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Sikorsky expands Latin American operations

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Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. is expanding its presence in Colombia with a new office that opened in Bogota yesterday and a new helicopter training center scheduled to open in Melgar early next year.

Colombia, which purchased its first Black Hawk helicopter in 1987, today operates nearly 100 of the Sikorsky-manufactured aircraft, giving it the world’s fourth-largest Black Hawk fleet.

The Bogata office will employ 10 people and will provide the Colombian Ministry of Defense with a central point of contact for managing all aspects of business with Sikorsky, the Stratford-based company said Nov. 1.

“Colombia is a longtime strategic customer and valued partner,” said Mick Maurer, president of Sikorsky Aircraft, in a prepared statement, reinforcing Sikorsky’s “solid commitment” to the Ministry of Defense and Columbian Armed Forces.

Sikorsky is a subsidiary of Hartford-based United Technologies Corp.

Colombia’s Black Hawk fleet performs a variety of missions, including search and rescue, medical evacuation, disaster relief, and anti-drug and counter-insurgency operations.

The training center scheduled to open in early 2013 will be South America’s first Black Hawk training center and will feature the region’s only full motion, high fidelity, FAA Level D Equivalent Black Hawk simulator.

The center will provide pilot and flight crew training for the Colombian Armed Forces and other Sikorsky customers throughout Latin America.

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