News Note:Lockheed Martin formally opened its presidential helicopter integration facility near Binghamton, Mass., last month.

 - September 15, 2006, 8:05 AM

The $25 million facility at Lockheed’s Owego plant will house administrative offices, laboratories and an aircraft integration hangar.

Lockheed won the $1.7 billion contract to build the President’s new helicopter, the VH-71 Kestrel (née US-101), early last year after a fierce competition with Sikorsky. The Lockheed contract calls for the production of 23 operational aircraft and three test models. The first helicopter is required to go into operation in 2009.