Lockheed Martin company Sikorsky Aircraft has secured a second contract valued at $470.8m from the US Navy to build six production VH-92A helicopters for the presidential helicopter replacement programme.

These new presidential helicopters are part of the 23 aircraft programme of record for the US Marine Corps.

The latest Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) Lot II contract comes after the company initially secured a $542m contract last June to build six VH-92A helicopters.

Under the terms of the new contract, Sikorsky will start deliveries of six VH-92A helicopters in 2022. The company plans to deliver the remaining production aircraft in 2022 and 2023.

PMA-274 presidential helicopter programme manager Eric Ropella said: “The programme continues to progress on budget and within our planned acquisition timeline.

“The award of LRIP Lot II reinforces the importance of this Marine Corps no-fail mission especially as we move into the next phase of government testing this year.”

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The US Navy considered a proposal to purchase a full fleet of the VH-92 presidential production helicopters in April 2018.

Sikorsky has already transferred five VH-92A helicopters into government test. The sixth is currently completing the modification and will enter government test this year.

The VH-92A programme, which is expected to enter Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) later this year, ensures long-term maintainability by using the FAA certified S-92 aircraft.

Sikorsky VH-92A programme director Dave Banquer said: “Now that we are ramping up production, the VH-92A programme is gaining momentum.”

Sikorsky is currently modifying all six of the production aircraft from the first LRIP contract at its plant in Stratford, Connecticut.