Then there were two. In an exclusive report, the Reuters news agency reported July 8 that Lockheed Martin
and Textron “have emerged as final contenders” to buy Sikorsky Aircraft
. Sikorsky parent United Technologies Corp. confirmed June 15 at the Paris Air Show that it intends to exit the rotorcraft business. Boeing
are not finalists, the news service said, adding that UTC could decide by month’s end between bids by the aerospace defense giant and Bell Helicopter
’s parent. (Textron also owns Cessna and a variety of other companies, including a golf cart maker.) Reuters did note that UTC could still decide to spin off Sikorsky rather than sell it. A win by Textron would allow it to flesh out Bell’s commercial product line with the S-76 and S-92 and restore the U.S. Army as a helicopter customer. (Bell is being phased out of that service’s helicopter fleets.) Lockheed’s victory would let it expand its aircraft offerings and consolidate control of programs on which it is partnered with Sikorsky, including the new U.S. presidential and combat rescue helicopters and the MH-60S/R program for the U.S. Navy.