August 30, 2016 – Lockheed Martin Corp. said Tuesday it’s laying off 150 workers at Sikorsky Aircraft, a year after it bought the helicopter manufacturer from United Technologies Corp.
“Although difficult, this action is necessary to ensure we remain competitive in the marketplace, secure future business opportunities and keep our infrastructure appropriately aligned with customer demands,” spokesman Paul Jackson said.
Sikorsky, which is based in Stratford, is losing 109 employees in Connecticut as part of the reduction in force, he said. Overall, it employs 8,000 workers in Connecticut.
Connecticut’s all-Democratic congressional delegation — Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy and Reps. Joe Courtney, Rosa DeLauro, Elizabeth Esty, Jim Himes and John Larson — said in a statement that they will work to help those affected “in every way possible and will continue discussions with Lockheed to ensure it fulfills the commitments and obligations Sikorsky has undertaken in Connecticut.”
Blumenthal’s office, which issued the statement, did not immediately elaborate on Sikorsky’s “commitments and obligations.”
The Sikorsky plant is in DeLauro’s district. Lockheed Martin Corp. announced last month it is laying off 350 employees at its mission systems and training business, of which Sikorsky is a part.
Marillyn Hewson, Lockheed Martin’s chief executive officer, told investor analysts in April that executives see emerging cost reductions and “efficiency opportunities” at Sikorsky. The aerospace company will find “further efficiencies” for cost savings, she said.
Lockheed Martin bought Sikorsky from UTC for $9 billion. UTC shed the manufacturer of the Black Hawk and commercial helicopters to focus more on its aerospace and building systems businesses.
While a UTC business, Sikorsky posed financial problems on its military side as the U.S. exited Iraq and wound down operations in Afghanistan. Its commercial business also pulled back with a decline in the use of helicopters to ferry oil industry workers back and forth to offshore platforms as oil prices plummeted, curtailing oil exploration.