STRATFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – Sikorsky Aircraft is celebrating a new, multi-billion dollar deal with the U.S. Army on Friday.
This contract with the army is an important deal, as it will trigger tax breaks for Sikorsky, officials stated. Governor Ned Lamont also worked out hefty incentives to keep the helicopter producers in Connecticut for at least the next two decades.
Those incentives are estimated to be about $75 million, which speaks to how important it is for Connecticut to keep the jobs associated with Sikorsky. Nearly 240 small businesses across the state supply parts for the helicopters.
And, there are about 8,000 people directly employed by Sikorsky at both the main plant in Stratford and another in Bridgeport. That area is in Congressman Jim Himes’ district, and he says he is proud of the workforce.
“Finely machining the parts here that are going to allow a UH-60 to sustain the kind of beating it sustains in combat and keep the people aboard safe,” said Himes.
The UH-60 is the official designation of what people commonly know as the Blackhawk, the workhorse of the U.S. military. The new contract will call for 120 new Blackhawks to be made for the army, at a price of $2.3 billion.
There’s another $185 million set aside for two new, much bigger helicopters, the CH-53K King Stallion. Meanwhile, Sikorsky officials said it is also looking at what comes next.
They said there is a competition going on to design the next generation of helicopters.