US Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), May 07, 2014 - NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, PATUXENT RIVER, MD. – The Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) awarded the Presidential Helicopters Replacement Program (VXX) contract to Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. today.
The $1,244,677,064 fixed-price incentive engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) contract, with production options, culminates a full and open competition to contract for integration of mature mission systems into an existing in-production aircraft in order to minimize the cost of developing and testing a new design.
“Throughout the entire proposal process, we emphasized cost as well as technical performance,” said U.S. Navy Capt. Dean Peters, program manager for NAVAIR’s Presidential Helicopters Program Office. “Our contract objectives are directly tied to mission requirements and long-term sustainability. We are committed to a cost-effective acquisition strategy and prudent use of existing technology. Sikorsky’s proposal adequately supports this commitment and together we will efficiently deliver the next Presidential helicopter fleet in an affordable and timely manner.”
Under the EMD contract, Sikorsky will provide six test aircraft, four of which will become operational assets. Production options will result in production of an additional 17 operational aircraft.
Following a three-year period of market research and analysis of alternatives that informed the Navy’s acquisition approach, a draft request for proposal (RFP) was issued Nov. 23, 2012. The draft RFP allowed industry to review the program’s strategy and requirements, and to provide further feedback on requirements clarity and potential cost and schedule drivers. The Navy used this feedback to refine the final RFP, which was released May 3, 2013 and closed Aug. 1, 2013.
The U.S. Marine Corps currently operates eleven VH-3D and eight VH-60N helicopters; the VH-3Ds were originally placed in service in 1974, and the VH-60s entered service in the 1980s.
The Navy will continue sustaining the existing Presidential helicopter fleet to ensure safe operations until the transition to the new aircraft can take place.
The Presidential Helicopters Program Office (PMA-274) has ultimate responsibility for providing equipment and support to ensure the safe and timely helicopter transportation for the president and vice president of the United States, heads of state and other official parties.