Sikorsky, Lockheed join forces for revamped Marine One deal

Washington DC
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Sikorsky has allied with previous rival Lockheed Martin to partner for a revamped competition for the prized Marine One helicopter contract.

A Lockheed source confirms that the agreement calls for Sikorsky to lead the team as prime contractor, with Lockheed to fill the role of major systems supplier.

The new teaming agreement indicates that Lockheed has severed its previous partnership on the Marine One/VXX contest with Finmeccanica company AgustaWestland. The US Navy terminated a contract to buy Lockheed/AgustaWestland VH-71As last June, despite having already spent $3.2 billion on the development of the AW101.

In February, USN officials, who are managing the competition on behalf of the US Marine Corps, released a request for information to restart the VXX bidding process. The document solicited industry's feedback to inform a pending analysis of alternatives.

The USMC currently operates a fleet of 11 Sikorsky VH-3Ds and eight Sikorsky VH-60s.

Sikorsky offered its S-92-based VH-92 for the previous VXX competition.