Lockheed-Martin to Build Marine One

Released on Friday, January 28, 2005
United Kingdom
United States of America
EH101 Merlin
DoD - Department of Defense
IOC - Initial Operational Capability
SDD - System Development and Demonstration
The United States Department of Defense (DoD) has announced that Lockheed-Martin-led team US101 has been selected to build the new presidential helicopter (VXX), also known as Marine One, based on its US101 medium lift helicopter. The new helicopter will perform as an 'Oval Office in the Sky' for the President.

For that reason, Lockheed-Martin Systems Integration Owego, New York, was awarded a contract valued at approximately $1.79 billion for the system development and demonstration (SDD) of VXX. During SDD phase Lockheed-Martin will integrate various communications, navigation, and mission systems required for the presidential helicopter support mission.

Under the scope of this program, Lockheed-Martin will produce five helicopters with the first one achieving initial operational capability (IOC) in fiscal year 2009 with Marine One Squadron and the fifth aircraft delivery anticipated by September 2011. Contract activities will be conducted in the United States (64%), United Kingdom (21%) and Italy (15%). US101 is based on successful AgustaWestland's EH101 multimission helicopter.

Marine One provides the President of the United States with safe and reliable helicopter transportation. Current rotary wing platforms used by the President of the United States were built in the 1970s and no longer have growth capability to integrate new technologies and systems needed in the post 9/11 environment while America is engaged in the Global War on Terrorism. Presidential Helicopter Replacement program IOC was originally planned for 2013, but the program was accelerated in 2003 to meet the requirements of the new world scenario.

The other contender for the VXX program was Sikorsky, a United Technologies company, with its S/H-92 helicopter based proposal. Survivability has been the key element which determined the Lockheed-Martin proposal selection over Sikorsky's S/H-92. Five US101 based platforms are due to be built replacing current VH-3 and VH-60 helicopters beginning by 2009. The US101 fleet will expand to 23 aircraft by late 2014 but a contract covering that issue has not been awarded to Lockheed-Martin yet. A single platform will yield additional benefits in terms of total ownership costs, maintenance, engineering, and logistics support over the lifetime of the program.


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