Sikorsky and Lockheed Martin formally announced Monday they had joined forces to offer Sikorsky’s H-92 for the next Presidential helicopter contest, now dubbed VXX. The Lockheed had teamed with Agusta Westland for the winning US101 in the original Presidential helicopter replacement program, the VH-71, which Defense Secretary Robert Gates cancelled in 2009. The new helicopter team also submitted a response Monday to the Navy’s request for information on the VXX program. Sikorsky’s Scott Starrett said that the two contractors had teamed for nearly 40 years on Naval Hawk helicopters so has “a proven and formidable track record.” Lockheed’s Dan Spoor, noted that the combination of Sikorsky’s production of and support for the Marine One fleet and Lockheed’s systems integration experience “will allow our team to offer a low-risk transport solution.” (Sikorsky release; Lockheed Martin release)
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.