Touting its mission readiness to build the next Marine One fleet, Sikorsky Aircraft today unveiled its new Executive Transport Center, which will serve exclusively as the final assembly facility for the new presidential helicopter should the company win the contract.
"Over the past several months, we've made the investment to prepare this secured, state-of-the-art presidential helicopter manufacturing facility," Sikorsky President Stephen Finger told hundreds of employees attending the ribbon-cutting along with U.S. Rep. Christopher Shays, R-Connecticut. "I am proud to say we are ready. We are ready to begin work on the next presidential helicopter today," Finger said.
The Executive Transport Center is located within Sikorsky's main facility, secluded from other sections of the plant so that strict security can be maintained once work begins on the next presidential helicopter.
"In fact, we are the only team able to hold a ribbon cutting ceremony in the actual facility where we plan to assemble the next presidential helicopter," Finger said.
Sikorsky has offered the H-92 in its bid to win the VXX competition, the government designation for the program to provide the next fleet of Marine One helicopters. The H-92 is based on Sikorsky's S-92, the world's newest medium-lift helicopter and the only helicopter that meets the FAA's latest, most stringent safety requirements. "We started preparing for the next generation of Marine One helicopters more than a decade ago when our company invested our own money in the S-92." Finger said. "No one else has a helicopter that meets those same safety standards. The competition's helicopter was designed in the 1980s. Does anyone think it makes sense to build the next presidential helicopter to last generation's safety standards?"
Sikorsky has built and maintained every presidential helicopter since Eisenhower. "Sikorsky has delivered over 9000 helicopters with over 90 million flights hours," Finger said.
Sikorsky has assembled six US-based companies on the All American Team to provide the H-92 for presidential service. All seven companies have presidential flight mission experience either with Marine One or Air Force One. This means that the All American Team already has personnel with the high level government security clearances required to work on presidential aircraft. The All American Team includes:
Sikorsky Aircraft, of Stratford, Connecticut, will lead the team and serve as the prime system integrator, including aircraft and system design, component manufacturing, final assembly and in-service support.
FlightSafety International, of New York, New York, will provide simulation and training equipment.
L-3 Communications Integrated Systems, headquartered in Greenville, Texas, will provide mission communications systems and the aircraft interior furnishings.
Northrop Grumman, Rolling Meadows, Illinois and San Jose, California, will provide aircraft survivability systems.
Rockwell Collins, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, will provide major cockpit systems.
Vought Aircraft Industries, Dallas, Texas, will provide integrated aero structures.
General Electric Aircraft engines, of Lynn, Massachusetts, will supply its CT7-8C engine.
Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, based in Stratford, Conn., is a world leader in the design, manufacture and service of advanced helicopters for commercial, industrial and military uses. Sikorsky helicopters occupy a prominent position in the intermediate to heavy range of 5,300 kg to 33,000 kg gross weight. They are flown by all five branches of the United States armed forces, along with military services and commercial operators in more than 40 nations.
Sikorsky is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corporation (NYSE:UTX), of Hartford, Conn., which provides a broad range of high-technology products and support services to the aerospace and building systems industries.