|A developmental VH-92A helicopter conducts landing and take-off testing September 2018|
|Role||Medium-lift transport/utility helicopter|
|National origin||United States|
|Manufacturer||Sikorsky Aircraft / Lockheed Martin|
|First flight||28 July 2017|
|Primary user||United States Marine Corps|
|Developed from||Sikorsky S-92|
The Sikorsky/Lockheed Martin VH-92 Patriot is an American helicopter under development to replace the United States Marine Corps' Marine One U.S. presidential transport fleet. It is a militarized variant of the Sikorsky S-92.
See also: VXX
Sikorsky entered the VH-92 variant of the S-92 into the VXX competition for U.S. presidential helicopter Marine One (replacing the Sikorsky VH-3D Sea King and VH-60N White Hawk), but lost to the Lockheed Martin VH-71 Kestrel. However, the competition was restarted in 2010 due to ballooning VH-71 development costs, allowing Sikorsky to resubmit the VH-92 in April 2010. By mid-2013, all other aircraft manufacturers had dropped out of the contest, leaving only Sikorsky.
On 7 May 2014, it was announced that the VH-92 had won the VXX competition to replace the aging VH-3 Sea Kings that transport the President of the United States.
In May 2014, Sikorsky was awarded a US$1.24 billion contract to build a variant of the S-92 for transport of the U.S. president. Sikorsky will outfit this variant with an executive interior and military mission support systems, including triple electrical power and redundant flight controls. Six of the variant, designated VH-92A, were ordered by the U.S. Navy for delivery in 2017. Production of a further 17 aircraft is planned[needs update] to begin in 2020. The total FY2015 program cost is $4.718 billion for 23 helicopters, at an average cost of $205M per aircraft. In July 2016, the design passed its Critical Design Review, which cleared it for production.
On 28 July 2017, the first VH-92A performed its maiden flight at Sikorsky Aircraft's facilities in Stratford, Connecticut.
On 22 September 2018, a VH-92 was flown to the White House for take-off and landing tests at spots used for Marine One.
In late November 2021, Pentagon officials noted the aircraft was “failing to meet the reliability, availability or maintainability threshold requirements.” The statement noted that during test flights, the aircraft damaged landing zones with its exhaust and fuel leaks. The helicopter had not yet entered service carrying VIPs.
On 28 December 2021, the VH-92 achieved its Initial Operational Capability (IOC) milestone. However, the aircraft, named "Patriot" in 2022, will not be able to carry the president or vice president due to ongoing issues with its encrypted communications systems.
Data from Sikorsky S-92 specifications, International Directory of Civil Aircraft
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