The US Navy (USN) on 10 June awarded Sikorsky its first low-rate initial production (LRIP) contract for the VH-92A presidential helicopter.
The contract, worth USD542 million, is for six aircraft, spares, and support equipment, according to a USN statement. Government testing will continue to validate system performance and prepare for initial operational test and evaluation (IOT&E), which is planned for mid-2020. Initial operational capability (IOC) is expected in late 2020.
Deliveries will begin in 2021, and the remaining production aircraft will be delivered in 2022 and 2023. The contract award follows an affirmative Milestone C decision on 30 May by the USN, allowing the programme to move from development to production. The USN expects to procure 23 new aircraft as part of the VH-92A programme.
Sikorsky deferred a request for comment to the USN, which did not respond to a request for comment prior to publication.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) said in an April report that acquisition cost estimates for the programme have declined from USD5.18 billion to USD4.95 billion, for 23 aircraft, since the programme started in April 2014. The effort also remains within its planned schedule.
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