Investment from its new owner, Chongqing (China) Helicopter Investment Corporation (CQHIC), is giving Enstrom Helicopter of Menominee, Michigan (Hall 3 Stand A93) a strong tailwind, which is showing results on several fronts.
Japan Ground Self-Defense Force
Thanks to the help of its new Chinese owner, Enstrom Helicopter unveiled plans in April to develop a new helicopter and for a major plant expansion and upgrade of its Menominee, Mich. headquarters.
Days before Heli-Expo 2011, Enstrom Helicopter delivered the first of 30 TH-480B turbine training helicopters ordered by the Japanese Ground Self Defense Force (JGSDF), and the company is still hovering a little above the ground in the afterglow of the late February delivery ceremony in Japan.
Japan’s Ministry of Defense has selected Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to supply 40 license-built Sikorsky UH-60J+ helicopters for the Japan Air Self Defence Force’s search-and-rescue fleet. The deal is worth around $2.3 billion, and includes 20 years of logistics support. The selection was the first result of a new bid evaluation process the Japanese government introduced to increase transparency in defense procurement.
The Japanese Ground Self Defense Force has selected the Enstrom 480B turbine single as its next-generation training helicopter and is scheduled to take 30 of the aircraft between now and 2014.