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.

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.