FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 28, 2005
Schumer: Lockheed Martin Wins $1.6 Billion Dollar Job-Creating Helicopter Bid
Presidential Helicopter Contract Will Bring 700 New Jobs to Lockheed Martin's Owego plant Schumer Lobbied Secretaries Rumsfeld and Powell to Award Contract to Lockheed
US Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced that Lockheed Martin will receive the $1.6 billion dollar contract to build the presidential helicopter, bringing hundreds of new jobs to Lockheed's Owego plant. Schumer spoke with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld earlier this month and lobbied Secretary of State Colin Powell to get them to use their influence to secure Lockheed the contract.
"This is great news - not just for the Southern Tier, but for all of New York State,” Schumer said. “This decision is a testament to the business leadership at Lockheed Martin, but more importantly to the great labor force we have in upstate New York. I hope this is the first of many contract victories for New York.”
In August of 2003, the US Navy selected Lockheed Martin and United Technology Corporation’s Sikorsky Aircraft unit to compete the for the contract to build the new Marine One helicopter fleet that will fly the President. In January of 2004, Schumer visited the Lockheed plant in Owego to tour the site and show his support for the bid. The proposals were submitted in February of 2004. The presidential fleet contract, which could be the first if several big defense contracts over the next few years, could result in hundreds of new jobs at Lockheed’s Owego plant, according to the company.
Schumer aggressively and repeatedly lobbied State Department and Pentagon officials to support Lockheed’s bid for the contract. Schumer supported the US 101 bid because it could create 700 jobs in Owego, and because the Lockheed helicopter is uniquely equipped to handle transporting the President. The contract on the Presidential fleet would allow the selected company to lead production of presidential helicopters that fly the President from the White House lawn to local destinations or to Air Force One for longer trips. The aircraft would be delivered by 2007.