Feb. 12 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy ordered five VH-92A Sikorsky helicopters, including two to replace the presidential aircraft known as Marine One, the company announced.
The $470 million deal includes production of the last lot of 23 helicopters ordered by the U.S. Naval Air Systems Command and to be delivered in full by 2023. Two of the five will be used to transport the president and vice president, and feature a reconfigured cabin and support equipment.
Whichever one is in use is designated "Marine One" in radio call signals, and known at the manufacturer as "White Top" for its green-and-white paint scheme, but all 23 are regarded as "presidential helicopters."
The order of the VH-92As replaces the Navy's fleet of 11 VH-3Ds and eight VH-60Ns, also built by Sikorsky, a division of Lockheed Martin.
The new helicopter is a variant of the company's commercial S-92helicopter, a twin-engined, medium-lift aircraft typically used for oil and gas transport, and search and rescue missions.
"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," said Sikorsky President Paul Lemmo in a statement on Thursday.
The $1.4 billion contract to build the next fleet of helicopters was announced in 2014, the year before Sikorsky, then a part of United Technologies Corp., was sold to Lockheed Martin.