Sikorsky in financial tussles with Canadians and U.S.

Stratford-based Sikorsky Aircraft is facing up to $80 million in fines from the Canadian government, Reuters reported this week, if the helicopter maker can’t get the Canadians to accept delivery of the new Cyclone, search and rescue helicopter.

UTC reported that Sikorsky had taken a $157 million charge related to delays in  this program in the fourth quarter, already.

Sikorsky signed a $5 billion deal to develop 28 search and rescue helicopters to the Canadians almost eight years ago, but the program has seen a number of delays, some due to changes made by the customer. The Canadians, however, do have four of the helicopters, but have not signed official paperwork accepting delivery, though they are training in them.

According to the contract with the Canadians, if the government does not take official delivery of the aircraft, Sikorsky would have to pay the fine.

In the meantime, a long-running dispute with the U.S. Government over prices Sikorsky charged it between 1999 and 2004, might get settled soon. The feds said Sikorsky overcharged the government for a number of parts, but Sikorsky filed an appeal with the courts and final arguments were held in January. At least that’s what Sikorsky’s parent company, United Technologies said in a filing this week and what court documents from the case say.

If the government prevails, Sikorsky could be on the hook for $94 million.

Rob Varnon