Lamont on lost $1.3B Black Hawk contract: ‘Nothing will change imminently at Sikorsky’

Gov. Ned Lamont is trying to ease fears at Stratford-based Sikorsky after the company lost a $1.3 billion contract to replace the Black Hawk helicopter, the Army's workhorse dating back to the 1970s. Sikorsky and Boeing pitched the Defiant X. Although physically similar to the Black Hawk, Sikorsky says Defiant is twice as fast and can travel twice as far.
Instead, the Army is going with a tilt-rotor model chopper from Bell-Textron based in Texas.
Despite the loss, Lamont says Sikorsky workers and hundreds of suppliers across the state shouldn't worry about their jobs.
"We still have the heavy-lift chopper,” he said. “We still have many years on the Black Hawk to go – so nothing will change imminently at Sikorsky in terms of employment, and there's another significant update coming out over the next 18 to 24 months.
Sikorsky is still under consideration to build the next generation of Army Scout choppers in 2024. If the company wins the contract, it will get $25 million in state incentives to build them in Stratford. But because Sikorsky lost the Defiant X contract, the company will also lose out on $50 million in state incentives.
Connecticut’s congressional delegation says it wants answers from the Pentagon.
“I intend to receive briefings from the Army to better understand how and why the decision was made,” said Democratic Rep. Rosa DeLauro, who represents Stratford. “I will continue to fight like hell to ensure Sikorsky and other organizations and companies in Connecticut, receive funding opportunities that support our workers and our economy — and that ultimately preserve jobs.”