Washington – It was expected, but now it’s official. Sikorsky signed a contract with the Marine Corps Wednesday to build the next Marine One, the huge transport helicopter used by the White House.

The $1.26 billion contract will cover the costs of the first six helicopters that will be built in Stratford, Conn., and Coatesville, Pa

“We are honored by this news and the vote of confidence in the Sikorsky team and the proven S-92 platform,” said Sikorsky President Mick Maurer in a statement. “For 57 years, our company has been trusted with the critical responsibility of building and supporting a safe and reliable helicopter fleet for the President of the United States. We are proud of our record and the bright future for our company. We stand ready to deliver the next Marine One, the world’s most advanced executive transport helicopter.”

Sikorsky almost lost the contract to Lockheed Martin. But now it’s partnering with Lockheed Martin to build the ‘copters.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-3rd District, hailed the Marines’ decision to ink a contract with Sikorsky.

“Sikorsky has long been synonymous with Marine One, the presidential helicopter,” DeLauro said. “Every president since Eisenhower has flown in a Sikorsky, made right in Connecticut. I am thrilled to see this contract come back to Stratford where it has always belonged and where it should have gone in the first place. Congratulations to the dedicated men and women who make the best helicopters in the world.”

Sikorsky said that of the six contracted aircraft, two will be designated Engineering Development Models (EDM), enabling the new helicopter to be tested at the Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland.

Those will be delivered in 2018, buy before their delivery, Sikorsky has committed to furnish the Marine Corps with two training simulators.

Ana has written about politics and policy in Washington, D.C.. for Gannett, Thompson Reuters and UPI. She was a special correspondent for the Miami Herald, and a regular contributor to The New York TImes, Advertising Age and several other publications. She has also worked in broadcast journalism, for CNN and several local NPR stations. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Journalism.

Leave a comment