The Sikorsky S-92 has been named as the US Navy’s Presidential Helicopters Replacement Program (VXX) winner.
Sikorsky was the sole bidder for the program, and has been awarded a US$1.24bn (A$1.32bn) engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) contract to deliver two VH-92 development aircraft in 2018, and four operational evaluation aircraft.
The contract announcement says it will look to integrate “mature mission systems into an existing in-production aircraft in order to minimise the cost of developing and testing a new design,” in order to avoid a repeat of the previous failed VH-X effort to develop the EH-101.
“We are honoured by this news and the vote of confidence in the Sikorsky team and the proven S-92 platform,” Sikorsky president Mick Maurer said in a statement. “For 57 years, our company has been trusted with the critical responsibility of building and supporting a safe and reliable helicopter fleet for the President of the United States.”
The final VXX requirement is for a 21 aircraft fleet to be in service by 2023 to replace the Marine Corps’ 11 VH-3D and eight VH-60N machines which entered service the 1970s and 1980s respectively.