The Coatesville closure is part of a calculated effort that was set in motion soon after LM bought Sikorsky. A slow commercial helicopter market is the “official” reasoning, but opportunities have still been out there, which why just over an hour away, Augusta Westland can’t hire fast enough to keep up with its backlog. While Coatesville did what it could to capture new business, everything ultimately had get approved through Stratford, who I’m told was bumping up proposals as much as 30%. Lockheed Martin doesn’t have much interest in the commercial helicopter market, and unless customers start knocking down doors and begging for the “B” model, I’m convinced the S-92 program is going back to Stratford to be k--led off once the VH models are completed.
Meanwhile, the rest of Sikorsky’s footprint is rapidly shrinking. Troy will be next after they’re finished with their -148 work and joining the remainder of the S-92s. LM will then start to focus its efforts on “making the difficult decision to close Stratford”, which will likely take a few years. Sikorsky will eventually exist only in the name of Lockheed Martin’s helicopter product line –
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