Sikorsky, a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin, has won a $542 million contract to build six VH-92A Presidential Helicopters to mark the start of low-rate initial production.
The VH-92 is a military variant of the Sikorsky S-92 twin-engine, medium-lift utility helicopter.
This modification exercises an option for the procurement of six Low Rate Initial Production Lot 1 Presidential Helicopters, as well as interim contractor support, initial spares, support equipment, and system parts replenishment, the US Department of Defense said in a statement Monday.
The US Navy selected Sikorsky's VH-92A in 2014 for the new Presidential Helicopter program, as part of a $1.24 billion contract award. More than a decade ago, Lockheed Martin beat out then rival Sikorsky in a 2005 competition to build Presidential helicopters.
However, delays and cost overruns eventually caused the Pentagon to scrap the program and asks for new bids, according to a Congressional Research Service report, according to US Naval Institute. After Sikorsky won the new contract, Lockheed Martin bought Sikorsky.
The Navy expects the chopper to achieve initial operational capability in late 2020, and the full production line to complete in 2023.
Work for today's contract is expected to be completed in April 2022.