Sikorsky Aircraft has begun construction of the first lot of six new-generation U.S. presidential transport helicopters in India, according to a report by India Strategic. Construction of the VH 92 Superhawks’ cabins began recently in collaboration with India’s Tata Advanced Systems Ltd., which also will exclusively develop components such as wire harnesses. The VH 92 is a variant of Sikorsky’s S-92, selected by the U.S. Defense Department in May 2014 to replace the current presidential fleet of Sikorsky VH-69s and VH-3Ds. Lockheed Martin, which previously bid against Sikorsky for the presidential helo contract, will be designing the VH 92’s onboard communication and electronic warfare suites. L-M’s expected acquisition of Sikorsky means it would eventually oversee development of that company’s airframes as well.
CORRECTION: Originally, we reported that Lockheed Martin had begun construction of the helicopters and referred to that company’s recent acquisition of Sikorsky. That acquisition has not been completed, and Sikorsky is still heading up the presidential helicopter project. We have corrected the brief to reflect this, and apologize for the error.