The Department of Defense announced today that the team led by Lockheed Martin Systems Integration, Owego, N.Y., has been selected to build the new presidential helicopter (VXX) based on its U.S. 101 medium lift helicopter.
This $1.7 billion, cost plus award fee contract will launch the VXX programs system development and demonstration phase during which the program will integrate a system of systems with a modern, in-production aircraft to provide the president with safe and reliable helicopter transportation.
Todays announcement is a significant milestone that caps an exhaustive and deliberative source selection process that carefully followed the Federal Acquisition Regulations, said John Young, assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition. The determined effort, long hours and hard work by both the VXX government team and the two industry teams will ensure a high level of quality and safety for future presidents, as well as a timely, efficient and effective program execution.
This decision truly reflects the best value and capability for the American taxpayer who is funding it, the Marines who will operate it and the future presidents who will fly in it, Young added.
The fleet of helicopters that currently supports the presidential mission includes 30-year old aircraft that were designed in the 1960s, fielded in the 1970s and no longer has the growth capability to incorporate the equipment necessary to provide suitable presidential support in the post 9-11 environment.
Under this replacement program, with its technology and performance improvements, a single platform will provide better savings in total ownership costs, engineering, maintenance and logistical support over the lifetime of the program, Young said. The president needs a more survivable helicopter while the nation engages in the Global War on Terrorism, and we are committed to providing it as soon as possible.
The original Presidential Helicopter Replacement Program of record proposed an initial operating capability in 2013. The VXX program was accelerated in 2003 with a currently planned IOC in fiscal year 2009.
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