Fri, Dec 05, 2008
Will Join Others At NAS Patuxent River For Testing
The VH-71 presidential helicopter replacement program marked
another milestone last Saturday with the maiden flight of the
second VH-71 production aircraft. The aircraft is scheduled to
arrive at US Naval Air Station Patuxent River, MD, later this
As ANN reported, the first production VH-71
arrived at the Navy's facility November 24, and is conducting
ground vibration testing.
Five production and four test helicopters make up the program's
first phase, or Increment One. The Increment One helicopters
provide more capability than the current fleet which is scheduled
to begin phasing out of operational service at a rate of three per
year beginning in 2017.
Of the four test aircraft, two are in flight testing with a
joint testing team made up of Navy, Marine Corps and industry
pilots. The other two are undergoing mission systems integration at
Lockheed Martin's facility in Owego, NY.
Lockheed Martin Systems Integration-Owego is the prime
contractor and systems integrator for the VH-71 program with
overall responsibility for the program and aircraft system.
AgustaWestland, the principal subcontractor, has responsibility for
the basic air vehicle design, production build, and basic air
vehicle support functions. Lockheed Martin and AgustaWestland have
partnered for more than 17 years with a worldwide record of
excellence dating back to the Royal Navy's EH101 Merlin Mk1
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