Air medical transport specialist Air Methods (NASDAQ:AIRM) announced yesterday it had received a contract worth $44.8 million from Sikorsky Aircraft to help modernize the U.S. Army's air ambulance fleet.

Beginning in the first quarter of 2013 and running through the fourth quarter of 2017, Air Methods' United Rotorcraft division will provide Medevac interior systems to Sikorsky, the helicopter manufacturing subsidiary of United Technologies (NYSE:UTX), which will install the systems on its new HH-60M Black Hawk helicopters.

United Rotorcraft President Tom Curtis said, "Our medical interior system provides the crew the ability to secure the patient and provide advance care. Additionally, the system can convert from one configuration to another in a matter of minutes, which maximizes the effectiveness, utility, and overall value of the HH-60M helicopter."

The Medevac interior systems include a patented patient loading system, an on-board oxygen generation system, medical suction, electrical power for medical equipment, and high-intensity, night-vision-goggle-compatible lighting.

With more than 3,000 Black Hawk helicopters operating in 27 countries today,Sikorsky says they have amassed more than 9 million flight hours. Black Hawk helicopters flown by the Army in Iraq and Afghanistan have accumulated more than 1 million fleet flight hours, according to Sikorsky.

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