Colombian Special Ops Get 2 New UTC Choppers

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It may sound incongruous, but the Colombian Army is beefing up its air force -- and hiring Hartford, Conn.-based United Technologies (NYSE: UTX  ) to help.

On Wednesday, United Tech subsidiary announced that its Sikorsky Aircraft subsidiary has contracted to sell the Colombian Army two new S-70i Black Hawk helicopters, a militarized international version of the famed UH-60 Black Hawk. Colombia already owns and operates five such helos within the Special Forces unit of the Colombian Army's Air Assault Division.

Colombia has long been a fan of Sikorsky's products. Its National Police, Air Force, and Army already operate 96 UH-60L variants which, when combined with the similar S-70is, means Colombia currently has the world's fourth biggest fleet  of these helos -- after South Korea, Turkey, and of course, the U.S. itself.

United Tech did not disclose financial terms of the sale, but cost may have been a factor in Colombia's decision to begin buying S-70is rather than more UH-60Ls. According to public databases, the S-70i variant can cost as little as one-third the price of the UH-60L, which tends to fetch $18 million new. Even with the several modifications Colombia is asking United Tech to include on its new birds, they're probably getting them for a nice discount to the price of the country's other helos.

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Rich Smith

I love things that go "boom." Sonic or otherwise, that means I tend to gravitate towards defense and aerospace stocks. But to tell the truth, over the course of a dozen years writing for The Motley Fool, I have covered -- and continue to cover -- everything from retailers to consumer goods stocks, and from tech to banks to insurers as well. Follow me on Twitter or Facebook for the most important developments in defense & aerospace news, and other great stories besides.

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11/27/2015 1:02 PM
UTX $96.80 Down -0.47 -0.48%
United Technologie… CAPS Rating: ****