Continuing its 63-year history of providing transportation for the president of the United States, Sikorsky is under contract to manufacture a total of 23 VH-92A presidential helicopters for the US Marine Corps. The OEM is on schedule to deliver the next generation presidential helicopter later this year.
The award, announced in early February by the US Navy for five aircraft is the final lot of VH-92A presidential helicopters set to be delivered in 2023. Sikorsky's workforce is completing final modifications on 12 of the production aircraft at its manufacturing facility in Stratford, Connecticut and Owego, New York.
“This contract to build more presidential helicopters shows our customer values Sikorsky's proven record of supporting this no fail mission for decades and is confident in our ability to innovate and deliver this next generation aircraft flying the president well into the future,” comments Sikorsky president Paul Lemmo. “This aircraft has a special place in the hearts of our employees who treasure the legacy and look forward to watching the new White Top enter service.”
“The programme remains on budget and within our planned aircraft delivery schedule,” adds Col. Eric Ropella, PMA-274 presidential helicopter programme manager. “The award of this last lot of VH-92A aircraft solidifies the importance of the Marine Corps' no-fail mission especially as we move into the next phase of government testing this year.”
The VH-92A will transport the president and vice president of the United States and other officials. Sikorsky has flown every US commander-in-chief since Dwight D. Eisenhower. The VH-92A, also called a ‘White Top’ due to its notable white and green livery, will continue this legacy.
The VH-92A programme ensures long-term affordability and maintainability by utilising the FAA certified Sikorsky S-92 aircraft, which has industry leading reliability and availability. The S-92 aircraft is modified for the VH-92A mission based on government-defined requirements. The S-92 fleet surpassed 1.7 million flight hours in 2020 and averages 14,400 hours of safe flight per month.