US helicopter manufacturer Sikorsky Aircraft, part of multinational Lockheed Martin, will build a third batch of additional VH-92A helicopters for the President after approving a new $ 470.8 million contract with the Naval Air Systems Command of the United States Navy has been.
As announced by the US Department of Defense on February 8, Sikorsky Aircraft Corp has received an amendment to a previous master agreement with Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR). Thus, this body exercises the options for the acquisition of 5 additional VH-92A helicopters, of which it is the third batch of aircraft in the so-called Presidential Helicopter Replacement Program.
This new award also includes the associated provisional support from the contractor, as well as two kits for reconfiguring the interior of the cabin, support equipment, initial spare parts and later replacement of system parts. In total, NAVAIR plans to acquire up to 23 units of this model, which is based on the Sikorsky S-92A commercial helicopter, which has recently exceeded one million flight hours and is certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Under the terms of the contract, known as Low Rate Initial Production Lot 1 or Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP), Sikorsky must have completed the fulfillment of this third contract by December 2023. Like the VH-92A in charge, these aircraft will operate under Marine Helicopter Squadron One (HMX-1) “Nighthawks”, based in Quantico, Virginia, near Washington. The main job of this helicopter unit of the Marine Corps or the USMC (United States Marine Corps) is to transport the President, Vice President and other high-ranking officials of the United States.
The new aircraft will increase performance and payload compared to the current HMX-1 presidential helicopters such as the VH-3D and VH-60N, in particular the VH-3D, a VIP version of the legendary Sikorsky SH-3. Sea King, you’ve been serving nearly 45 years so Joe Biden will be the first President since 1978 (at that time Jimmy Carter was the White House tenant) to debut a new helicopter, or Marine One, which is the radio code with the one who flies when he takes it on board.
The VH-92A offers better avionics systems, communication skills and self-defense, as well as improved availability and maintainability. (Julio Maz Sanz).
Photo: One of the future VH-92A VIP helicopters, with the Washington Monolith in the background. (Photo Sgt.Hunter Helis / US DoD)
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