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Fri, Jan 28, 2005

Aero-News Alert: Upset! Lockheed Will Build 'Marine One' Presidential Helo

The US Navy has just selected the US101 for a new fleet of "Marine One" helicopters for the President of the United States. Lockheed Martin, which leads Team US101 as prime contractor, will receive a $1.7 billion contract from the Navy for the Marine One program's systems development and demonstration phase. The team will build and equip the US101 medium-lift helicopter to provide a safe and secure "Oval Office in the Sky" for the President.

"We are honored that trust has been placed in Lockheed Martin and Team US101 for this vital and highly visible mission," said Robert J. Stevens, president and chief executive officer of Lockheed Martin Corporation. "All members of Team US101, as well as the executive leadership of the team's parent corporations, are committed to meeting the demanding requirements of the U.S. government as we provide the world's best helicopter system to serve our nation's President."

Team US101 will immediately begin work on the program, building on the staff and facilities already in place to support Navy-funded risk reduction activities under way since March 2004. Near-term activities involve the establishment of a secure presidential helicopter facility, including a new integration center and hangars, at an existing Lockheed Martin site in Owego, NY, and construction of helicopter assembly facilities at Amarillo, TX. Staff recruiting also is under way.

"We are proud to contribute our proven helicopter, backed by significant operational experience, to serve as the basis for the American President's new Marine One fleet," said Pier Francesco Guarguaglini, chairman and chief executive officer of Finmeccanica, AgustaWestland's parent corporation. "We are confident that the US101 will provide the best capability for the President, and we are delighted that the U.S. government has chosen to entrust Team US101 with this important responsibility."

More than 200 suppliers in 41 states support Team US101, led by Lockheed Martin with teammates Agusta Westland and Bell Helicopter Textron. Suppliers include some of America's leading aerospace companies, such as General Electric, ITT, Northrop Grumman, Kaman Aerospace and Palomar Products.

Based on the current contract schedule, the first US101 ready to transport the President is expected to be available in 2009, with the entire fleet of 23 US101 delivered to the Marine One squadron by late 2014.

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.

FMI: www.teamus101.com/index.cfm

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