Nov. 30 (UPI) -- The Department of Defense has awarded a contract to Sikorsky Aircraft for upgrades to the helicopters used by Marine Helicopter Squadron One -- whose most famous passenger is the President of the United States.
The deal, announced Wednesday by the U.S. Navy, is worth more than $15 million under a firm-fixed-price, cost-plus-fixed-fee delivery order contract, which modifies the previous terms of an indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract for executive helicopter special progressive aircraft rework.
The executive helicopter program flies two types of rotorcraft -- the VH-3D Sea King and VH-60N White Hawk.
The VH-3D Sea King, most known with for carrying American presidents, was introduced more than four decades ago. Operated by a crew of four, the Sea King is nearly 75 feet long and can fit 12 passengers in its 200-square-foot interior space.
When flying with the president aboard, the helicopter is known as Marine One and is accompanied by one or two other aircraft from the fleet to serve as decoys and protection. When carrying the vice president, it is referred to as Marine Two.
Marine Helicopter Squadron One's fleet is also used to carry heads of states and Pentagon officials, among others.
Officials say the modified contract will include security, project engineering, integrated logistics support, as well as other sustainment products.
Work on the contract will be performed in Connecticut and Virginia, and is expected to be complete in November 2018.
U.S. Navy fiscal 2018 operations and maintenance funds of more than $9.8 million has been obligated to Sikorsky at the time of award, and will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.