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Sikorsky delivers its 5,000th Black Hawk helicopter to the U.S. Army

The 5,000th Black Hawk HelicopterIMG_6315.JPG
Ebong Udoma
The 5,000th Sikorsky U-H-60M Black Hawk helicopter manufactured and delivered to the U.S. Army at a hangar in the company's Stratford headquarters

Sikorsky Aircraft, based in Stratford, celebrated the delivery of its 5,000th Black Hawk helicopter to the U.S. Army on Friday. It comes more than 40 years after the first Black Hawk was delivered.

“This is an aircraft that is tough, resilient. And if I may say so, one damn impressive aircraft,” said U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-CT, who represents the district where Sikorsky’s manufacturing plant is located.

At a ceremony in a hangar at the plant, DeLauro commended the workers for producing such a versatile aircraft that first saw combat in Grenada in 1983.

U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) praised the durability of the helicopter, which had an initial order of only 1,000.

“Eighty, ninety percent are still in operation today. These are incredible machines that you have produced that have saved countless lives,” Murphy said.

The U.S. Army plans for Black Hawks to be in front line service for another 40 years and beyond, said Col. Calvin Lane, the utility helicopter project manager for the Program Executive Office Aviation.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.