STRATFORD, Conn. -- Sikorsky Aircraft in Stratford has been awarded a $138 million contract by the U.S. Department of Defense to performance the maintenance work on the Marine One Presidential helicopter fleet.
This summer it had been announced that negotiations had fallen through between Sikorsky and the U.S. Navy , and that the Navy would be moving repair work internally to a center in Florida. The news prompted lawmakers such as U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro and U.S. Rep. Jim Himes to urge the U.S. Navy to reconsider plans to shift the maintenance, which would have resulted in the loss of 85 jobs at Sikorsky's Stratford headquarters.
Legislators praised the announcement that the maintenance work on the Presidential helicopter fleet would remain in Connecticut.
“This landmark victory is great news for jobs and national security-- a ringing testament to the unrivaled skills and dedication of Sikorsky's amazing workforce," said Blumenthal. "I fought proudly to ensure that this maintenance mission for the nation's iconic helicopter would be kept in its rightful and historical site. I will continue that fight to ensure that Connecticut remains the arsenal of our democracy-- so critical to our national defense and our economy."
“Today is a great day for Connecticut’s workers. I strongly fought the Department of Defense’s plan to move this critical work on Marine One out of Connecticut, and I am extremely pleased that the united effort of Sikorsky, its workers, and our Connecticut delegation prevailed” said Murphy. “The Department of Defense has come to rely on Sikorsky’s unparalleled reliability and performance, and I’m thrilled that the men and women at Sikorsky will continue to keep our President safe.”
“Sikorsky has built and maintained Marine One in Connecticut for the last 40 years. The workforce, who has the experience working with Marine One, is best equipped and prepared to ensure that the fleet continues to be safe and reliable,” said DeLauro. “Today’s news is a win for working families in Stratford and the highly skilled workers at Sikorsky. Connecticut has a rich history of being a leader in the defense manufacturing industry and this contract will ensure the maintenance work remains in Connecticut where it belongs.”
The work on the helicopter fleet will begin in January. Sikorsky is owned by Lockheed Martin.
Earlier this year it was also announced that Lockheed Martin had reached a deal with the state to keep Sikorsky's headquarters in Stratford until at least 2032. In exchange, the aerospace giant will receive up to $220 million in financial incentives over the term of the agreement.