Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
3 July 2007
Also Known As: Marine One, VH-71, VH-71A and VXX
, United Kingdom
and United States of America
Leonardo Helicopters and Lockheed Martin
Parent System: AW101
Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
Family Members: EH101
, EH101 Cormorant
and EH101 Merlin
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Description: The EH101 is a long range, medium lift helicopter designed to perform a wide range of missions. The EH101 has been designed to perform naval warfare missions (ASW and ASuW), search and rescue (SAR), and military utility missions. The EH101 helicopter is powered by three engines (RTM322 or T700), has a five-blade main rotor, integrated sub-systems, single pilot full glass cockpit, and can be armed with four torpedoes or two long range anti-ship missiles. It features reduced life cycle costs, maintainability, and high reliability due to its three turboshaft engines. Merlin helicopters provide day/night, all-weather conditions operation with an maximum flight endurance of five hours.
The first EH101 helicopter entered service in 2000. It has been selected by the United Kingdom, Italy, Janan, Denmark and Canada with more than 180 aircraft ordered to date. The Royal Navy EH101 helicopters will operate from Horizon-class, type 22 and type 23 frigates, type 45 destroyers, Invincible, CVF aircraft carriers as well as various types of amphibious assault ships. Besides, a EH101 derivative for the civilian markets has also been offered.
The Presidential Helicopter Replacement Program (VXX) was intended to provide a safe and reliable helicopter transport for the President of the United States of America. The scope of the program was to replace the aging fleet of VH-3 and VH-60 helicopters built in the 1970s by a single platform yielding savings in total ownerships costs, engineering, maintenance, and logistics support over the lifetime of the program. First drafts envisaged the Marine One helicopter achieving initial operational capability (IOC) by 2013 but following 9-11 world environment that date was reset to fiscal year 2009 and the survivability emerged as the main feature for the new platform.
The Marine One helicopter will perform as an 'Oval Office in the Sky' with heavy use of modern communications technology and survivability sub-systems. Various critical communications, navigation, and mission systems required for the Presidential helicopter support mission should be integrated into the new airframe. As of 2004, Lockheed-Martin-led team US101 with the US101 helicopter and Sikorsky's S/H-92 helicopters were competing for the VXX contract. US101 helicopter is a variant of successful AgustaWestland's EH101 multi-mission helicopter.
The US Department of Defense (DoD) announced that the US Navy had selected Lockheed-Martin's US101 proposal on January 28, 2005. A $1.79 billion contract was awarded to Lockheed-Martin Systems Integration Owego, New York, for the development and demonstration (SDD) phase of the VXX program. Five US101s will be manufactured under this program with the first one achieving IOC in 2009 and the fifth aircraft delivered by September 2011. The US Navy might expand the US101 fleet to 23 aircraft by 2014. These aircraft will be operated by Marine One Squadron.
The Lockheed-Martin (prime contractor and systems integration) US101 team includes AgustaWestland (aircraft design) and Bell Textron (aircraft production). General Electric, ITT, Northrop Grumman, Kaman Aerospace and Palomar Products are also involved in the US101 medium-lift helicopter. General Electric will supply three CT-8E engines rated at 2,500 shaft-horsepower to each helicopter. The development and production workload will be distributed as follows: United States of America 64 percent, United Kingdom 20 percent and Italy 15 percent. On June 1, 2009, the US Navy terminated the VH-71 presidential helicopter replacement program.
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