State lawmakers will vote September 28 on a $220 million aid package designed to keep manufacturing icon Sikorsky Aircraft in Connecticut at least through 2032.

Under the agreement reached between the state and Sikorsky parent Lockheed Martin, the company will build 200 heavy-lift helicopters at its Stratford plant.

sikorsky-ch-53k-king-stallion
Sikorsky will build 200 CH-53K helicopters for the U.S. Marine Corps and it expects additional orders.

The deal, which includes a package of state tax and financial incentives, is contingent on approval from both the General Assembly and the local Teamsters union.

"This agreement is great news for Connecticut," CBIA president and CEO Joe Brennan said today.

"It is important not only to keep these iconic names of Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky here, but also because of the hundreds of companies and thousands of employees who will benefit from having this production done in our state.

"We urge the legislature to approve the agreement in a timely and bipartisan fashion."

Skilled Workforce

Sikorsky president Dan Schultz said the company looked at a number of different states to site production of the CH-53K King Stallion helicopter.

While Connecticut—with its skilled workforce—was Sikorsky’s first choice, "the economics had to work."

"Connecticut was not the cheapest state," Schultz said. "So to get this proposal in puts us in a competitive mindset."

Connecticut was not the cheapest state. To get this proposal in puts us in a competitive mindset.
— Sikorsky president Dan Schultz
The agreement requires Sikorsky to increase full-time employment in Connecticut to more than 8,000 workers by 2032, double current spending of $350 million per year with in-state suppliers, and increase its capital spending by 22%.

Governor Dannel Malloy said the state will give Sikorsky up to $8.6 million annually over the 14-year agreement if it meets benchmarks for job growth, payroll spending, and using in-state suppliers.

Sikorsky also will be exempt from sales and use taxes up to $5.7 million a year. It will be eligible for annual performance incentives up to $1.9 million if it exceeds periodic job targets, capped at a total of $20 million.

Supply Chain

The company is expected to inject $6.5 billion into its supply chain over the course of the agreement.

Colin Cooper, the CEO of Eastford-based aerospace manufacturer Whitcraft Group, called the deal a "good win for Connecticut on multiple levels."

"This is a monster aircraft and likely will require additional investment in infrastructure at the Stratford facility to assemble it there," he said.

Sikorsky will build 200 CH-53K helicopters for the U.S. Marine Corps and it expects additional orders from foreign allied governments.

The company currently employs 7,855 people in Connecticut, including 5,976 at its Stratford headquarters. Sikorsky has a global workforce of 15,000 employees.