The US Navy has awarded Sikorsky a US$478.6m contract modification, exercising an option to procure five more VH-92A presidential transport helicopters under a third low-rate initial production (LRIP) lot.
The awarding of this firm-fixed-price contract modification was announced by the US Department of Defense (DoD) on February 5. Under the terms of the deal, Sikorsky will manufacture and deliver five more VH-92As to the US Navy through LRIP Lot 3. The firm will also provide two cabin interior reconfiguration kits, support equipment, initial spares, system parts replenishment and associated interim contractor support services.
Work under this contract is expected to be completed by December 2023, with work being performed by Sikorsky in Stratford, Connecticut; Coatesville, Pennsylvania; Owego, New York; Patuxent River, Maryland; Phoenix, Arizona; and Quantico, Virginia.
Sikorsky’s VH-92A is an extensively-modified, militarised variant of the company’s S-92 civil-operated, medium-lift utility rotorcraft family. As per current plans, the US Navy will procure 23 VH-92As, comprising 17 serial production helicopters, four System Demonstration Test Article (SDTA) aircraft and two Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) test platforms.
The VH-92A will replace the ageing Sikorsky VH-3D Sea King helicopters that currently form the backbone of the US Marine Corps’ (USMC’s) presidential transport fleet. In USMC service, the VH-92As will be operated by Marine Helicopter Squadron 1 (HMX-1) ‘Nighthawks’ from Marine Corps Air Facility Quantico in Virginia.
With this latest deal, Sikorsky has now been contracted to manufacture and deliver all 17 of the serial production helicopters that the US Navy planned to acquire. The firm received the first LRIP contract, worth US$542m, in June 2019 – which covered the initial six aircraft. This was followed by the awarding of a US$471m contract in February 2020 for the production and delivery of six more VH-92As under LRIP Lot 2.
The US Navy has already received the four SDTA helicopters and two EMD test aircraft, which were procured through a US$1.24bn EMD contract, which was awarded to Sikorsky in May 2014. The remaining 17 VH-92As will be delivered to the service by the end of 2023, completing the service’s acquisition of 23 aircraft.