A transport helicopter built by Lockheed Martinâs Sikorsky subsidiary to replace the aging Marine One presidential aircraft is on track to achieve inital operational capability next year, National Defense Magazine reported Monday.
The Sikorsky VH-92A twin-engine helicopter is based on the companyâs S-92A commercial aircraft and is intended to succeed the fleet of VH-3D Sea King and VH-60N White Hawk presidential helicopters. According to Lockheed, the U.S. Navy plans to acquire 23 VH-92As which will undergo initial operational test and evaluation activities in mid-2020.
Eric Ropella, program manager for the Marine Corps VH-92A effort, told National Defense in an email that the program office is collaborating with other agencies to âensure continued interoperability” with various communications systems as they evolve.
Sikorsky secured a $1.2B contract to develop Marine OneÂ replacement helicoptersÂ in 2014. VH-92A passed initial flight assessments last year and entered the low-rate initial production phase in June.