Pa. plant awarded $4B Army helicopter contract

RIDLEY PARK, Pa. (AP) — A Boeing plant in suburban Philadelphia has been awarded a new five-year, $4 billion contract to make Chinook helicopters for the Army.

The company says the deal will allow the Army to purchase up to 38 more of the double-rotor transport helicopters. The new contract starts in 2015 and ensures that the plant in Ridley Township will have steady work through the end of the decade.

The plant is currently producing Chinooks and V-22 Osprey aircraft. The facility employs about 6,200 and recently announced it was laying off 41 workers at the site. Boeing spokesman Andrew Lee says the company doesn’t anticipate major increases in hiring.

Officials say the five-year deal will lead to $800 million in taxpayer savings, compared with annual purchases.

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