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Sikorsky moves forward with presidential helicopter replacement

By Ryan Maass
Sikorsky moves forward with presidential helicopter replacement
U.S. President Barack Obama salutes a U.S. Marine as he disembarks from Marine One H-92 helicopter. Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI | License Photo

STRATFORD, Conn., Nov. 5 (UPI) -- Sikorsky Aircraft announced the completion of the preliminary design review phase of the VH-92A Presidential Helicopter Replacement Program.

The U.S. Navy awarded Sikorsky a $1,244,677,064 contract for engineering and manufacturing 21 operational aircraft with an additional two aircraft for testing. The VH-92A is designed to replace the S-92. The Program Preliminary Design Review included testing the craft's mission communication system components. Spencer Elani, Sikorsky program director for the VH-92A, says the program is ahead of schedule.

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"We are committed to executing this program on-time and within budget. These achievements keep this program moving forward," Elani said in a statement.

Under the contract, Sikorsky will integrate government mission systems and executive interior on its in-production S-92 craft. Initial fielding for the aircraft is scheduled to begin in 2020, with production to conclude in 2023.

Sikorsky's S-92 Executive Helicopter has been used by numerous heads of state and private sector leaders. The craft has a stand-up cabin, enabling maneuverability, and also comes with satellite phones for global communications.

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