The Lockheed Marin subsidiary has secured a deal to supply the US Marine Corps with five additional VH-92A helicopters, used as the US president’s transportation.
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Sikorsky, a subsidiary of global defence prime Lockheed Martin, has been awarded a contract by the US Navy to deliver five VH-92A Presidential Helicopters (White Tops) for the Marine Corps, in addition to the 23 aircraft scheduled for delivery in late 2021.
This latest contract is expected to be for the final set of VH-92A Presidential Helicopters, scheduled for delivery in 2023.
“This contract to build more presidential helicopters shows our customer values Sikorsky’s proven record of supporting this no fail mission for decades and is confident in our ability to innovate and deliver this next generation aircraft flying the president well into the future,” Sikorsky president Paul Lemmo said.
“This aircraft has a special place in the hearts of our employees who treasure the legacy and look forward to watching the new White Top enter service.”
According to Colonel Eric Ropella, PMA-274 presidential helicopter program manager, the program remains on budget and within the planned aircraft delivery schedule.
"The award of this last lot of VH-92A aircraft solidifies the importance of the Marine Corps no-fail mission especially as we move into the next phase of government testing this year,” he said.
The VH-92A transports both the president and vice president of the US, along with other government officials.
The aircraft has flown every US commander-in-chief since president Dwight D. Eisenhower.
The VH-92A draws from Sikorsky’s S-92 aircraft, which is modified for the VH-92A mission based on government-defined requirements.
According to Sikorsky, the S-92 fleet surpassed 1.7 million flight hours in 2020 and averages 14,400 hours of safe flight per month.