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Lockheed Martin has confirmed it is closing Sikorsky’s manufacturing facility in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, with more than 240 staff set to lose their jobs.
The facility houses the final assembly lines (FALs) for the S-92 and S-76, two types that have suffered from the continued downturn in the offshore oil-and-gas sector.
Lockheed Martin said “a downturn in the commercial helicopter sector” was behind the move, and that the work previously completed in Coatesville would now be moved to its facilities in Stratford, Connecticut; West Palm Beach, Florida; and Owego, New York.
“We remain committed to supporting all our customers and will continue supporting the acquisition and sustainment of the S-92 and S-76 fleets,” said John Dorrian, senior manager of Sikorsky Communications at Lockheed Martin.
“We have informed all of our customers and are planning the transitions to occur with no disruption to their programs.”
Sikorsky moved the S-92 FAL to Coatesville from Stratford just over a decade ago. The facility spans more than 416,000 square feet, including 217,000 square foot Heliplex where Sikorsky commercial assembly lines and the well-equipped production test flight and delivery center are located.
At its peak, the facility had over 1,000 employees, but staff numbers have been reduced over the years by a series of cuts.
“Despite close collaboration with our commercial customers, federal, state and local officials, we were unable to secure enough additional work to sustain operations,” said Dorrian.
The facility will close by the end of March 2022, with 120 of Sikorsky’s Coatesville employees staying with the company and either telecommuting or relocating.
Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA), whose district includes the Coatesville plant, said she was “frustrated and disappointed” at news of the closure.