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
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.
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
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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