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.
Fool contributor Rich Smith and The Motley Fool have no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.