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Lockheed May Work on New Presidential Helicopter Program

Bob Joseph/WNBF News

Hundreds of jobs could be more secure in the region with the announcement of $400,000 million in federal funding for Lockheed Martin.

The funding is for two contracts for a fleet of combat rescue and presidential helicopters to be developed by Sikorsky Aircraft and Lockheed Martin.

The contracts have not yet been awarded.

The first possible contract totals $333.5 million for 112 combat rescue helicopters.

$94.2 million could be allocated for the Marine One Presidential Helicopter, a program that was sunk in 2009 when newly-elected president, Barack Obama pulled the plug on the development that had already been underway and upgraded several times, citing escalating costs.

Nine of the VH-71 aircraft had been build when the program was scuttled.

In the latest development, a contract for the rescue helicopters could be awarded in the spring with a deal for 23 presidential helicopters awarded later.

Officials at Lockheed Martin in Owego say the timing of any contract awards will have an impact on how many existing jobs work on the projects and how many new hires will be needed.



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