ARLINGTON, Va. — Naval Air Systems Command has awarded Sikorsky a third production contract to build five VH-92A helicopters for the U.S. Marine Corps.
The Naval Air Systems Command awarded Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. — a Lockheed Martin company — a $478.6 million firm-fixed-price contract modification to build five Low-Rate Initial Production Lot III VH-92As, according to a Feb. 5 Defense Department announcement. The award also includes orders for “interim contractor support, two cabin interior reconfiguration kits, support equipment, initial spares and system parts replenishment,” the release said. Work on the contract is expected to be completed by December 2023.
The VH-92A was selected in 2014 to provide transport for the president of the United States, the vice president and other high-level government officials. The helicopter will replace the 19 VH-3D Sea King and VH-60N “White Hawk” helicopters operated by Marine Helicopter Squadron One. The Corps plans to acquire a total of 23 VH-92As, 21 for operations and two for testing. The May 2014 engineering and manufacturing development contract procured two test aircraft and four production aircraft. Six VH-92As were ordered in June 2019, followed by six more in February 2020.
The presidential helicopter fleet is operated by Marine Helicopter Squadron One, based at Marine Corps Air Station Quantico, Virginia, with a detachment at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington.
“Government testing to validate system performance and prepare for Initial Operational Test and Evaluation is progressing on schedule and will support an Initial Operational Capability (IOC) planned for July 2021,” a Navy spokeswoman said. “The VH-92A will enter service post IOC at the determination of the White House Military Office.”