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Sikorsky VH-3D Sea King - U.S.M.C. HMX-1 Nighthawks Marine One
Image: AV8PIX/Christopher Ebdon

The Pentagon has launched a new project to replace the aging helicopters used by the U.S. president, three years after a program was canceled due to surging costs.

The next generation of Marine One choppers used by the White House incumbent would start flying in 2020, replacing the current fleet of 19 VH-3D Sea Kings and VH-60N Night Hawks manufactured by Sikorsky.

In a draft request for proposals, the U.S. Navy said it wants to buy 25 helicopters and to integrate advanced communications equipment into a chopper that is already operational, instead of building an entirely new aircraft.

The future presidential chopper, dubbed VXX, will “provide a comprehensive and secure communications capability to ensure connectivity between the President and U.S. government agencies or foreign governments, throughout the threat spectrum, regardless of location,” according to the Navy’s website.

Source: Agence France-Presse via Defense News.

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