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Sikorsky’s Armed BLACK HAWK (ABH) Demonstrator Completes Weapons Test Phase

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Sikorsky’s Armed BLACK HAWKTM (ABH) Demonstrator Completes Weapons Test Phase

June 15, 2009

  Cyclone, Israel - Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. and Elbit Systems Ltd. (NASDAQ:ESLT) announced today successful completion of the test phase for the Armed BLACK HAWKTM (ABH) demonstrator helicopter, also known as the BATTLEHAWKTM helicopter. Achieving this milestone clears the way for Sikorsky to begin offering production proposals for customers to convert existing BLACK HAWK helicopters or order new production aircraft in the armed configuration. Sikorsky is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX).

The testing phase was conducted to establish the safe operation of the weapons and weapons management system, as well as to gather data on the systems. An optical missile, a laser-guided rocket, and a 20-mm turreted gun were all fired successfully. The demonstrator configuration also includes Elbit cockpit displays, a Mission Management system with Digital Map, Forward-Looking Infrared (FLIR) and ANVIS/HUD® helmet systems with cueing capabilities integrated into the avionics suite.  The demonstrator completed its first flight on Sept. 9, 2008 at the Elbit Systems' Cyclone facility in Israel.

Sikorsky President Jeffrey P. Pino said, "The results of the live fire testing demonstrate that the utility BLACK HAWK aircraft platform also can serve as an attack helicopter, providing additional firepower and mission flexibility. The BLACK HAWK helicopter has proven its value for the last three decades in military service all over the world, and continues to evolve as a modern multi-purpose platform for all branches of the armed forces." 

The production BATTLEHAWK helicopter will come equipped with a full suite of armed reconnaissance and attack capabilities, including an integrated helmet display and such weapons options as missiles, rockets, and fixed forward and turreted guns. These options will be available on new-build aircraft or as a kit that can be retrofitted onto existing BLACK HAWK helicopter platforms.

The BATTLEHAWK helicopter will provide medium-lift capability and firepower that cannot be duplicated by current dedicated utility or attack platforms. The aircraft can be used in either combat or peacetime for such missions as troop transport, search and rescue, and disaster relief. In the modern battlefield, the BATTLEHAWK helicopter combines unique capabilities of advanced attack and accurate weapons delivery with deployment of fast-reaction teams.

The ABH demonstrator program is a cooperative effort between Sikorsky Aircraft and the government of Israel in conjunction with Elbit Systems, as the Israeli industry's leading representative and prime contractor for mission, avionics and weapon systems integration. The program's purpose is to produce an armed demonstrator for evaluation by the Israeli Air Force. An evaluation phase for that purpose will begin this month and continue through October 2009.

Sikorsky Aircraft and the government of Israel signed a memorandum of understanding in September 2005. Elbit Systems, based in Haifa, Israel, was selected to be the sub-systems supplier in February 2006 through an RFP process that was initiated in December 2005.

More than 3,000 BLACK HAWK helicopter variants have been delivered to 27 governments worldwide since 1978, accumulating more than 9 million combined flight hours.

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., based in Stratford, Conn., is a world leader in helicopter design, manufacture, and service. United Technologies Corp., based in Hartford, Conn., provides a broad range of high-technology products and support services to the aerospace and building systems industries.

This press release contains forward-looking statements concerning future business opportunities. Actual results may differ materially from those projected as a result of certain risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to changes in government procurement priorities and practices or in the number of aircraft to be built; challenges in the design, development, production and support of advanced technologies; as well as other risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to those detailed from time to time in United Technologies Corporation's Securities and Exchange Commission filings.
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