Trump Requested, Lockheed Martin Heeded: PA Plant Will Stay Open

 In Business, Politics, Technology

Coatesville, PA – Trump requested that the Lockheed Martin Plant in Coatesville stay open for now, as the company works with Pennsylvania legislators and the government to find new work. Lockheed Martin agreed, saving 465 jobs for the area. (Fox Business)

Trump requested that the plant stay open – it does completion work for the Sikorsky S-92 and S-76D series helicopters. The company had planned to shutter the plant based on slumping sales. Trump owns two S-76D Sikorsky helos, but is not allowed not fly in them while he is President.

Senator Pat Toomey thanked the President for asking Lockheed Martin to keep the plant open: “Lockheed Martin’s commitment to keep operational the Sikorsky helicopter plant in Coatesville provides short-term certainty for 465 workers, who were expected to either lose their jobs or be re-located later this year.”

The Coatesville plant works on specific Sikorsky Helicopters, but is not the only Sikorsky Plant, as the main one is in Connecticut. The President’s new Marine One is a Sikorsky- the company was tasked with building six new Presidential helicopters. In its debut, the VH-92A flew over the “Salute to America” on the 4th of July. The helicopter won’t be online until later in the year.

Lockheed Martin was recently awarded a $542 Million contract by the Navy to produce 6 helicopters for use by the President, Vice President, and heads of state. The full amount for 23 helicopters will be around $4.95 Billion, at $215 Million each, according to Defense One.

The helos are flown by pilots in Marine Helicopter Squadron One. Sikorsky also received a contract in May to produce 12 Ch-53K King Stallion Heavy Lift Helos.

Even though the new VH-92 is not ready to fly the president, the rest of the aircraft already sports the iconic dark green livery that’s become synonymous with the aircraft of Marine Helicopter Squadron One. The Marines are testing three of the helicopters, made by Sikorsky, which is owned by defense contractor Lockheed Martin.

One of the new Marine One helicopters made a series of test landings at the White House in September. More recently, President Trump watched one of the helicopters make a test landing on the South Lawn last month…

The new Marine One — based on Sikorsky’s commercial S-92, a helicopter widely used in the oil and gas industry to fly workers to offshore platforms — has not been without problems of its own. For instance, GAO revealed in April 2018 that the new presidential helicopters were so powerful that they could tear up the White House lawn.
“The program has still not fully met this requirement and its assessment of this risk has increased since our last report,” GAO said in its latest assessment in April. “According to program officials, Sikorsky expects to have a solution for this requirement by November 2020.”

Defense One

Yes, let’s not tear up the White House lawn. But it’s nice to know that the helo is powerful.

Featured photo: screenshot via Twitter from Senator Pat Toomey

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