Lockheed Martin CEO Welcomes US101 Helicopter to Marine One Integration Facility

Calling the US101 the "best and most capable helicopter" for the Marine One mission, Lockheed Martin Chief Executive Office and President Robert J. Stevens today welcomed the first US101 helicopter to the Corporation's helicopter integration center of excellence in Owego, NY.

"No competitor can match the credentials, knowledge or experience of Team US101," Stevens said. "Our team has worked incredibly hard over the last year to demonstrate to the U.S. Navy's decision-makers that the US101 offers the overall best value solution for the vitally important Presidential helicopter replacement program."

The US101 test vehicle will validate the superior performance and reliability of the aircraft's three 2,500 shaft-horsepower CT7-8E engines, built by General Electric, and demonstrate the clarity of the updated cockpit displays provided by Smiths Aerospace.

"Our ability to demonstrate our helicopter with the actual engines we would use aboard Marine One reinforces our commitment to offer a fully proven system for the Presidential helicopter replacement program," Stevens said. "We are not asking the Navy to assume the risk of buying a helicopter with engines still in development."

Stevens said that Team US101 believes the Navy will make its decision on the performance and mission suitability of the competing helicopters, as well as on the program management and technical leadership capabilities of the competing teams. He noted that Lockheed Martin and teammates AgustaWestland and Bell Helicopter have a long history of collaboration on programs such as the British Royal Navy's Merlin helicopter and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency / U.S. Army Unmanned Combat Armed Rotorcraft.

"Through our prior relationships and work on the Marine One competition, the Team US101 members have demonstrated our ability to work together seamlessly to meet the U.S. Navy's requirements," Stevens said. "We are committed to building, delivering and supporting the best and most capable Marine One helicopter. We're proud of our offering and we look forward to serving our nation, and our nation's President."

The Lockheed Martin executive noted that among the US101's most desirable features for the Marine One mission are its proven performance in some 56,000 hours of operation, many under combat conditions; its wider and longer cabin, providing up to a third more space than the competing aircraft; and the triple redundancy of its systems, including three engines.

Stevens questioned claims that the reliability of modern turbine engines makes the US101's third engine unnecessary.

"Despite dramatic improvements in engine technology, the fact remains that in-flight engine failures do occur," Stevens said. "We believe the third engine, which enables the US101 to continue in controlled flight when other helicopters are forced to land, represents an enhanced measure of safety that Americans want our President to have."

Asserting that "no company in the world has more experience than Lockheed Martin in dealing with highly sensitive and critically important national security missions for the United States government," Stevens also emphasized that Team US101 is fully compliant with the Marine One program's security guidelines.

"We're very proud of our security record and of the trust that our customers place in us," Stevens said. "We have demonstrated to the Navy our ability to fully satisfy the stringent security requirements associated with the Presidential helicopter mission."

Team US101 is led by Lockheed Martin Systems Integration-Owego, which serves as the prime contractor and systems integrator for the American-built US101 aircraft, an American variant of AgustaWestland's successful EH101 multimission helicopter. The US101 team collectively brings unmatched rotorcraft expertise and experience to this program: Lockheed Martin (prime contractor and systems integration), AgustaWestland (aircraft design) and Bell Helicopter (aircraft production), while General Electric will supply each helicopter with three, 2,500 shaft-horsepower CT7-8E engines.

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SOURCE: Lockheed Martin

CONTACT: Mike Drake, of US101 Communications, +1-607-751-3200,