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Sikorsky officially awarded VXX contract

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posted on May, 8 2014 @ 08:27 PM
Sikorsky, as the sole bidder, was officially awarded the VXX Presidential Helicopter Replacement contract on May 7th. The contract is worth $1.24B for six S-92 aircraft. The S-92 is currently used by the heads of 10 countries.

The first payment will be for $42M, starting this year, for RDT&E. There will be six aircraft, and two simulators delivered to the Marines initially. Two aircraft will be engineering development models, and will be delivered in 2018. The remaining four will be system demonstration test articles, and after operational testing will transition to active use.

The airframes will be built in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, before going Stratford Connecticut for modifications. Lockheed Martin will then take the aircraft to Owego, New York to install mision and communications gear, then back to CT for cabin installation.

Sikorsky has been picked to build the next fleet of US presidential helicopters.

The news was announced on 7 May by the US Navy, which says it awarded the Connecticut-based company a $1.24 billion contract to build six aircraft.

Sikorsky says its design is based on the company’s S-92; a twin-engined, medium-lift model that it says is used as a head of state transport by 10 countries.

“We are honoured by this news and the vote of confidence in the Sikorsky team and the proven S-92 platform,” says Sikorsky president Mick Maurer.

posted on May, 8 2014 @ 09:13 PM
I would not mind if the US economy was in great shape, even good shape.

1.24 Billion for six choppers! Then one has to ask why he needs 6 choppers. Yes, I know, redundancy .... but are these new very expensive helos going to be so prone to failure that you need 6 to make sure he has a chopper when he wants one?

It just seems like everyone else needs to tighten their belt while he spends 1.24B on what is 'my ride.'

Couldn't he just buy something off the shelf and put some carpet in it to show some restraint!


posted on May, 8 2014 @ 09:17 PM
a reply to: pheonix358

Four are going to be for Presidential helos. That allows for one to be down in inspection, and three available at all times. The other two aircraft are ground test articles. They have to test the systems integration before they fly them in the flight articles. The four that are flight test aircraft will then be modified into the final configuration and become operational. One of the two ground test articles will probably be tested to destruction.

posted on May, 8 2014 @ 09:29 PM
a reply to: Zaphod58

Yes, I read and understood that which then leads into why do they need a new airframe with all that testing. Is there truly nothing out there that would do in a pinch. I just looked it up and the S-92 is a current model so why all the testing? It just seems a little overboard, but then, so are all of his holidays.

The unit cost is about $18M so for six plus upgrades I can see where .24B are going, now what is the other 1B for or whose pocket does it end up in.


ETA Not asking you to back up the expenditure, Zaphod. I love the posts you make, just seems an awefull lot of additional expenditure for no apparent reason.
edit on 8/5/2014 by pheonix358 because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 8 2014 @ 09:41 PM
a reply to: pheonix358

Each head of state S-92 is completely different from the others. Eternally they're the same airframe, but there's a lot different internally. They may have different engines, some may have extensive EW suites, the White House communications suite is huge, and it's heavy (it cuts the range of a Gulfstream by as much as half depending on the model after it's installed).

A good example is the CH-53K. Externally it's the same as the CH-53E, but it's going to require a couple of years of testing before it's operational because it's completely different from the E.

posted on May, 8 2014 @ 09:51 PM
I respect your opinion here, but my question is what is wrong with the sea knights and white hawks currently in use? If memory serves, these aircraft are still currently front-line helos and more than capable as fancy shuttles. I say let's upgrade and keep the older birds for now as this nation cannot really afford to purchase new, untested, and un-developed variants at this point in time.

posted on May, 8 2014 @ 10:01 PM
a reply to: tonyb1968

The 'hawks aren't big enough, and the Kings (they're Sea Kings not Sea Knights) are getting too old. It's getting harder and more expensive to get parts for them. The Sea King is only operated in limited numbers anymore, and the only ones in use by the US are the HMX-1 aircraft.

posted on May, 9 2014 @ 07:54 AM
Keep the sea kings....they have a habit of falling groundward with regularity these days....

posted on May, 9 2014 @ 08:11 AM
a reply to: Zaphod58 ...... Except that it isn't just $1.24 billion Zaph.

Lets not forget the debacle of the VH-71 cancelled five years ago, from which this current project sprang from the ashes of. It originally was a 13 billion dollar order for 28 airframes that was cancelled after $4.4 billion was spent and nine VH-71 (modified EH-101 Merlins) were built. After which these airframes were essentially scrapped and sold to Canada as spare for their Cormorant fleet. And all because of two things, first an obviously bloated budget and second because of backroom parochialism politics. The same crap that saw the US air force tanker program blocked and delayed for years after the KC-45/30 won after the earlier Boeing tanker debacle that saw a few people jailed. Of course this was only eventually reversed at great cost to EADS to only be awarded back again to the same people who corrupted the process in the first place.

So what does it all mean? Your dollars get wasted by people playing parochial pork barrel politics and meanwhile programs that are crying out for funding go wanting.

Comforting isn't it?


posted on May, 9 2014 @ 08:28 AM
a reply to: Zaphod58

Here you go!

It doesn't look much different than its predecessor, but when Marine Corps pilots get their hands on the controls of Sikorsky's new CH-53K heavy lift helicopter, they will quickly realize the aircraft is more powerful and can do more than the CH-53E they currently fly.

Thank God they got the presidential order.
This will keep over 12,00 workers busy not to mention the 15,000 sub contractors in our area.

posted on May, 9 2014 @ 10:02 AM
a reply to: thebozeian

No, but a LOT of military contracts lately have gone the route of the KC-46, and are fixed price, with the contractor eating the overrun. They're even talking about CVN-82 and beyond being fixed price with completion incentives.
edit on 5/9/2014 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 9 2014 @ 10:03 AM
I"m fine with these contracts. They keep people employed and engineers doing their thing. It's good for the economy. No problem.

posted on May, 10 2014 @ 08:55 AM
a reply to: Zaphod58
Here is the video of the roll out ,at the end I saw 3 of my friends signatures.

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