Lockheed, Sikorsky Partner On Air Force Chopper

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky Aircraft will submit a joint bid to build a fleet of search and rescue helicopters for the Air Force, the companies said Thursday.

The aircraft will be a version of Sikorsky's UH-60M Black Hawk. Sikorsky, a division of United Technologies, will be the prime contractor while Lockheed will be the major supplier of the systems used on board.

Previous attempts by the Air Force to award a search and rescue helicopter contract have been scrapped over legal challenges by contractors and delays by the military.

The Air Force says it must replace 112 of its HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters.

Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky have already teamed up to bid on a contract to replace the fleet of Marine helicopters used to carry the president and other top government officials.

Shares of Lockheed Martin Corp. rose 15 cents to $75.65 and United Technologies shares dropped 53 cents to $67.48.

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