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Lockheed Martin to buy Sikorsky Aircraft for $9 billion

Lockheed Martin to buy Sikorsky Aircraft for $9 billion
A Navy MH-60R Seahawk helicopter built by Sikorsky Aircraft, Lockheed Martin, GE and CAE. (Sikorsky Aircraft)

Lockheed Martin will acquire Black Hawk helicopter maker Sikorsky Aircraft for $9 billion as it seeks greater access to the military and commercial helicopter market.

United Technologies Corp. said in June it planned to shed Sikorsky so that the aerospace and building systems conglomerate could better focus on high-technology systems for both of those industries.

Lockheed will add the world's largest builder of military helicopters to its arsenal.

"One of the key elements of our strategic planning is to secure and extend our core defense business and we feel confident that the addition of Sikorksy will contribute significantly to the growth objective," Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson saidl.

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Sikorsky also makes presidential helicopters and its aircraft have returned astronauts home after they splashed down in the Pacific Ocean at the end of their space travels.

Bethesda, Md.-based Lockheed Martin plans to add Sikorsky to its mission systems and training unit.

Even though the company is a leader in the industry, Lockheed can improve Sikorsky, particularly on contracting, cash flow and in reviewing the international security needs of customers, said Chief Financial Officer Bruce Tanner.

"We think it fits well into our portfolio and this is what we do," Tanner said.

Lockheed Martin is now reviewing its options for its government information technology and technical services businesses, primarily in the Information Systems & Global Solutions business segment, and a portion of the Missiles and Fire Control business segment. They represent about $6 billion in estimated 2015 annual sales.

United Technologies, based in Hartford, Conn., said it will use proceeds from the sale to buy back company stock.

Sikorsky accounted for $7.45 billion of United Technologies' $65.1 billion in revenue last year.

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