Sikorsky to Build Presidential Helicopter Fleet

Wednesday, May 7, 2014  |  Updated 6:34 PM EDT
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Sikorsky to Build Presidential Helicopter Fleet

AP

Marine One helicopter, with President Barack Obama aboard, right, lands in Prospect Park in Brooklyn borough of New York, Friday, Oct. 25, 2013, as he arrives to visit Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH). (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Connecticut helicopter manufacturer Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. has won a $1.24 billion contract to build the next fleet of "Marine One" presidential helicopters.

Sikorsky, a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp., said Wednesday the contract is to modify, test and deliver six S-92 helicopters and two trainer simulators to the U.S. Marine Corps. It says it will eventually supply 21 aircraft by 2023.

It will perform aircraft modifications at its Stratford headquarters and subcontractor Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training will install the communications and mission systems in Owego, New York.

The announcement is a big deal for Sikorsky, which has faced declining revenue and has recently laid off workers after the U.S. military exited Iraq and has begun to wind down operations in Afghanistan.

“Contracts like this help to protect our competitiveness and thus preserve jobs. We can’t say at this point whether this contract alone will lead to additional hiring,” Sikorsky said in a statement Wednesday.

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