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Lockheed Martin Not To Close Coatesville Plant After Trump's Request

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Lockheed Martin Corp. said it will keep its manufacturing plant in Coatesville, Pennsylvania open after U.S. President Donald Trump requested the defense contractor to reconsider its decision to close the facility.

Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson announced the decision on Twitter Wednesday.

"It's a good operation with an excellent workforce. We look forward to working with the government and PA Congressional delegation to find more work for this facility," Hewson said.

The Sikorsky helicopter plant in Coatesville does completion work on Sikorsky's S-92 and S-76D helicopters, which are largely used in commercial off-shore oil operations.

The company had earlier decided to close the facility and relocate production to other Sikorsky sites due to the prolonged downturn in the global helicopter market. The closure would have affected around 465 employees.

Trump has appreciated Lockheed Martin's decision to keep the Coatesville facility open and called the company "one of the USA's truly great companies!"

"I was just informed by Marillyn Hewson, CEO of Lockheed Martin, of her decision to keep the Sikorsky Helicopter Plant in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, open and humming! We are very proud of Pennsylvania and the people who work there," Trump said on Twitter.

In June, Sikorsy said it has received a contract to build six VH-92A presidential helicopters. These helicopters are part of the 23 aircraft program of record for the U.S. Marine Corps.

Under the terms of the contract, Sikorsky will begin deliveries of six VH-92A helicopters in 2021, while the remaining aircraft will be delivered in 2022 and 2023.

Sikorsky noted that the helicopters have proven their production readiness by undergoing rigorous U.S. government testing and operational assessments, which included operating on the south lawn of the White House.

The U.S. Department of Defense said in a separate statement that 36 percent of the work for manufacturing the presidential helicopters will be done at the Coatesville plant.

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