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US presidential choppers are to be manufactured in India

  • Lockheed Martin is the world’s biggest military systems’ giant, and the TASL project is now part of its own very impressive portfolio.
  • Lockheed is now in command and control of all of Sikorsky’s famed flying machines as only recently, it acquired the Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation from United Technologies Corporation (UTC).
  • Sikorsky has been flying US presidents since 1957, beginning with Dwight D. Eisenhower. The current versions that the president flies in are designated VH-3D and VH-69, based on the older generation of Sikorsky machines.
  • Construction of the first lot of six VH 92 Super Hawk helicopters that transport the US president has begun in India.
  • The new generation helicopter is based on the Sikorsky S-92, whose cabin, some other parts and wire harnesses are made only in India in collaboration with Tata Advanced Systems Ltd (TASL) at Hyderabad.
  • The VH variant is a much advanced version of the civilian S-92 rotorcraft or its military version, the H-92 with more powerful twin engines, fly-by-wire systems and highly advanced communication and electronic warfare (EW) protection suites.
  • The US president is perhaps the most protected person in the world, and appropriately, the Tata-made aluminum and metal cabin may be reinforced with Kevlar and strong composite materials.
  • TASL makes 48 cabins a year, and which six of these cabins are selected for the VVIP helicopters will be decided by experts from the US Secret Sevice, the Marine Corps and Lockheed Martin in the US itself.
  • The presidential helicopter fleet is maintained by the US Marine Corps and any machine that the head of the state boards gets the call-sign Marine One.
  • At least five of these aircraft travel with the President wherever he goes, even when abroad.
  • He stays connected with his office through satellites or connectivity by other systems irrespective of wherever he is.
  • The spacious S-92 is already being used for VIP travel in some countries, and is also on offer to India for both government and civilian roles.

Source: EconomicTimes

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