Lockheed Martin has a new contract with a foreign client. The Owego plant will help produce the U.S. Navy's Seahawk helicopters for the Danish government. Company officials discussed the announcement at a news conference Monday. Melissa Kakareka has more.
OWEGO, N.Y. -- By 2018, Denmark will have nine of the U.S. Navy's MH-60R Seahawk helicopters and Lockheed Martin employees will be playing a role in the manufacturing process.
Lockheed Martin in Owego has been helping produce the MH-60R Seahawk helicopter for the U.S. Navy for several years. The navy is scheduled to obtain 291 choppers by 2017.
"We have already delivered 146 of them and we are scheduled to deliver three more this week," said Tom Kane, Lockheed Naval Helicopter Programs Director.
In addition to Lockheed Martin, Sikorsky Aircraft manufactures the helicopters. Companies such as General Electric, the Raytheon Corporation and training supplier CAE are also part of the team. All of those companies will now help make the aircraft for the Danish government.
The U.S. Navy announced Monday that Denmark will buy nine of the choppers and comprehensive logistics support for its Maritime Helicopter Replacement Program.
Kane said, "We feel very fortunate and express thanks to the Danish government for their selection and we look forward to working with the Danish government for the next 30 years."
Denmark isn't the first country to purchase the aircraft. Australia also purchased 24 in 2011.
"When you combine the 24 that Australia has purchased plus the nine that Denmark is going to purchase, we will have close to 350 of these aircraft out worldwide," Kane said.
Lockheed officials say the contract helps strengthen their relationship with Sikorsky and also highlights the high quality of the aircraft. The Danish armed forces will use the aircraft's modern features for search and rescue, as well as military operations.
"Not only does it have the older systems, such as radar, but this radar has more capabilities, sees things from farther away and the anti-surface and submarine capabilities are more advanced, so brings a lot more to the fight," said Lt. Chase Coleman of the United States Navy.
Lockheed officials say they also have several other international opportunities coming up to manufacture the aircraft for countries such as the Republic of Korea, Quatar, Norway and others.