First Marine One Enters Completion

 - January 30, 2009, 5:00 AM

The first of five “block one” new production presidential helicopters arrived at Lockheed Martin’s Owego, N.Y. facility last month for systems integration, paint and interior. The VH-71s are based on the AgustaWestland EH-101 and will be operated by the Marine Corps. A follow-on “block two” of 23 additional helicopters with more advanced capabilities will join the fleet beginning in 2013. Block one helicopters also include four test aircraft. The aircraft are known as Marine One when transporting the President. The total cost of the program has soared to more than $11 billion.