Saudi Arabia crisis could impact Sikorsky contracts

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The current crisis involving the disappearance of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi Arabia could mean that billions of dollars in helicopter contracts for Stratford-based Sikorsky Aircraft hang in the balance.

Last year, the Saudi government ordered almost $4 billion worth of Blackhawk choppers from Sikorsky. The arms deal could be worth $28 billion over decades to Sikorsky's parent company.

Derek Bisaccio, a military market analyst at Forecasts International in Newtown, says he doesn't think the crisis will affect Sikorsky's multibillion-dollar deals with Saudi Arabia.

"I don't think Sikorsky's likely to encounter too much trouble in this regard," he says. "I mean, helicopters haven't received as much attention. They're now getting as much pressure from rights activists."

The U.S. government could step in and cancel Sikorsky's contracts with Saudi Arabia, but analysts don't think it's likely at this point. But if it does happen, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal says the company could find plenty of other willing buyers.

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