Sikorsky Aircraft has successfully completed the preliminary design review (PDR) of the VH-92A presidential helicopter replacement programme.

The company also completed the integration and performance testing of mission communications system (MCS) components and accepted the second S-92A aircraft for the programme.

Sikorsky VH-92A programme director Spencer Elani said: "Completing these three milestones on or ahead of schedule is a fantastic accomplishment.

"Completing these three milestones on or ahead of schedule is a fantastic accomplishment."

"We are committed to executing this programme on-time and within budget.

"These achievements keep this programme moving forward."

In May 2014, the Sikorsky secured a $1.24bn engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) contract from the US Navy for 21 operational and two test aircraft to replace the existing fleet.

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The current fleet of presidential helicopters is comprised of Sikorsky Black Hawk / Sea King models, which are 35 and 40 years old respectively.

Spanning a period of performance into late 2020, the production under the contract is expected to be completed in 2023.

Under the project, Sikorsky will use its in-production S-92 aircraft and integrate government-defined mission systems and install an executive interior.

Presidential Helicopters Program Office programme manager colonel Robert Pridgen said: "This is but one of many steps toward the replacement for our Presidential Fleet of helicopters.

I am pleased how effectively we’ve gotten out of the gate and established a solid foundation on which we’ll mature the detailed design work of this important programme."

According to Sikorsky, the PDR allowed the VH-92A team to demonstrate the preliminary design for the VH-92A aircraft, including integration of the MCS, and the supporting logistics elements.

The new development will now allow the programme to proceed into detailed design.

The VH-92A will be deployed to provide safe and reliable helicopter transportation for the President and Vice President of the US and other officials.