Connecticut lawmakers this week approved an agreement between the state and Sikorsky designed to drive job growth and increase the Stratford-based manufacturer's in-state supply chain spending.

The deal, connected to the Lockheed Martin's company's bids on two Pentagon contracts, drew broad bipartisan support in both the state Senate and House.

Sikorsky's Defiant X
Sikorsky is partnering with Boeing on the Defiant X, its contender to succeed the iconic Black Hawk as the U.S. Army's utility helicopter.

The company's Raider X is one of two finalists in one of the Pentagon programs and it is partnering with Boeing on the Defiant X, a finalist for the U.S. Army's Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft program.

The Lockheed Martin company is bidding on Pentagon contracts to replace several existing programs, including its iconic Black Hawk helicopter.

The state will provide $75 million in tax credits if Sikorsky wins both contracts and $50 million if the company lands one of the Pentagon programs.

The Pentagon is expected to make a decision regarding the new programs by the middle of the year.

Commitments

Sikorsky will commit to employing a minimum of 7,000 full-time workers in Connecticut and maintain its headquarters and primary production facilities in the state through 2042.

The agreement sets annual spending minimums dedicated to Sikorsky’s Connecticut suppliers—beginning at $300 million annually—and capital spending requirements that start at $70 million a year.

"We should be focused on the business environment, but I think we need to be honest that we haven't seen that happen recently."

DECD's David Lehman

David Lehman, commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development, called the agreement "a long-term investment" that also ensured Sikorsky could remain competitive.

"We want to do this in Connecticut. We think this is great for us, and we think it’s great for the state. Let’s work together to make sure we have the most competitive bid," he told the Connecticut Mirror.

"We should always be focused on the business environment, but I think we need to be honest that we haven’t seen that happen recently."

'Major Win'

CBIA president and CEO Chris DiPentima applauded legislative approval of the agreement, which he said represented "a major win for Connecticut's economy and Sikorsky's supply chain."

"The last agreement reached between the state and Sikorsky had a resounding impact on job retention and growth with Sikorsky exceeding their spending commitment in Connecticut," he said.

"Since every manufacturing job creates three-four additional jobs, Sikorsky's increase in supply chain spending has a ripple effect well beyond our vibrant manufacturing sector, impacting many small businesses in a variety of industries around the state."

Sikorsky has facilities in Stratford, Bridgeport, Shelton, North Haven, and Trumbull, with 242 suppliers throughout Connecticut.