The Lockheed Martin-led team competing for the contract to supply the next US presidential helicopter has outlined its plans to create an 'Oval Office in the sky'.

The US101, which Lockheed Martin is producing in partnership with AgustaWestland and Bell Helicopter, is pitted against Sikorsky's VH-92 in the competition, due to be decided by the end of the year.

Stephen Ramsey, US101 vice-president and general manager, told a packed Farnborough briefing that detailed discussions are continuing with the US Navy and that $20 million has been allocated so far to a risk reduction exercise that is also being undertaken by Sikorsky.

He underlined that more than 90% of the US101 programme value will be placed with US companies and that more than 200 US suppliers from 41 states are now involved in the programme.

He focused on the areas which the US101 team believes sets its aircraft apart from the VH-92.

"Our aircraft has three engines as opposed to two, our cabin size is one third larger and we have a proven platform that has demonstrated its capability time and again in a variety of missions."

Source: Flight Daily News