Photo credit Iconic brand Sikorsky Aircraft, based in Connecticut, builds many of the world’s most iconic military helicopter brands including CH-53 heavy lift, Black Hawk, Sea Hawk and S-92.

Abu Dhabi: US-based Sikorsky Aircraft is planning to open a regional office in Abu Dhabi as it eyes expansion in the region.

The office will be opened in the second half of this year, a representative of the company said at a press conference in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.

Robert Korkoda, vice president, international military of Sikorsky Aircraft said that they already have a partnership with Mubadala in the UAE.

“Our partnership will be strengthened with the opening of the office. UAE and GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries have strategic objectives of modernisation and security. We are actively working to expand our presence and investment in the UAE and the Gulf region,” he said at International Defence and Exhibition Conference (Idex) 2015.

“Here in the UAE, we are partners for quite some time with Mubadala. We have brought another partner Lockheed Martin into that relationship allowing us to cover a broad range of products as one team,” he added.

The company said it has delivered 400 helicopters to customers in the region and plans to expand over the next five to ten years.

“Expansion of the existing fleet of 400 will be in a proportional manner, and modernisation is going to drive that number in the region,” said Anand Stanley, Sikorsky’s vice president and general manager for the Middle East, Turkey and Africa.

Instability in the region is providing growth opportunities for many defence companies. As the situation changes there is always need for different kind of capabilities, Korkoda said. “As countries want to stabilise themselves and their neighbouring countries they look for products that will allow them to do that in the defence industry. As the situation changes, there is always need for different kind of capabilities.”

Korkoda added: “It is an opportunity that doesn’t mean we want to see further instability. In fact we would like to see more stability so if that means more different types of systems that allows countries to manage stability that is good for everyone.”

Sikorsky is a founding member of Advanced Military Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul Centre (Ammroc), a joint venture owned by Mubadala Aerospace, Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation and Lockheed Martin Corporation in the UAE.

Ammroc provides a wide range of aircraft maintenance and support services to the UAE Armed Forces and other military operators throughout the South Asia, Middle East and North Africa region.

Sikorsky Aircraft, which is based in Connecticut, USA, currently employs around 16,000 people worldwide. It builds many of the world’s most iconic military helicopter brands including CH-53 heavy lift, Black Hawk, Sea Hawk and S-92.