Stratford-based Sikorsky has added an order from the White House to its long list of to-dos in coming years.
The Lockheed Martin subsidiary secured a $542 million contract from the United States Navy to build six VH-92A Presidential Helicopters. The contract is part of the 23-aircraft program for the U.S. Marine Corps.
“Sikorsky has been building and providing helicopter transportation for every U.S. President and Commander in Chief since Dwight D. Eisenhower,” said Dave Banquer, Sikorsky VH-92A program director, in a press release. “We are excited to build the next generation of transport with the VH-92A helicopter.”
Under the terms of the Low Rate Initial Production contract, Sikorsky is expected to start delivering the helicopters by 2021. The remaining production aircraft will be delivered in 2022 and 2023.
Sikorsky is also expected to provide spare parts and training support.
The contract award received the green light from the U.S. Navy to enter production and development in May.
“This award is an example of acquisition done right,” said Col. Eric Ropella, presidential helicopter program manager, U.S. Marine Corps.
The announcement comes less than a month after Sikorsky was awarded a $1.1 billion contract to build a dozen new CH-53K King Stallion helicopters for the U.S. Marine Corps. Sikorsky and its suppliers have invested millions into its Stratford-based factory to prepare for production, which is expected to begin this summer.
The VH-92A aircraft provides safe transportation for the President, Vice President and foreign heads of state.
A prototype aircraft in Maryland has already undergone testing and operational assessments by the U.S. Government, including operating on the south lawn of the White House, according to a press release.
Lockheed Martin also delivered and installed the first VH-92A training device at the Presidential Helicopter Squadron HMX-1 in Quantico, Va., earlier this year for training.