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The United States Air Force has been making plans with Boeing to replace the president’s Air Force One with newer 747s. The new planes are planned to enter service only by the year 2024, giving president Trump (in his best case scenario) less than a year to enjoy the new jets. However, if president Trump is interested in flying in new presidential helicopters then he only needs to wait until 2021, given he wins his second term as president of the United States, because the country is also replacing the president’s personal helicopters.
Sikorsky has recently closed a $542 million contract with the United States Navy to build six new VH-92A helicopters. The new helicopters will be used mainly to fly the president of the United States and his staff around the world.
Currently, the U.S. Navy operates the VH-3D and VH-60N helicopters to ferry the president and his staff.
Two of the VH-92A helicopters are already in testing, with four more on the way. The Marines will eventually order another fifteen choppers, making the total cost of the VH-92A program about $4.95 billion.
The new choppers are based on the S-92 helicopter, also developed by Sikorsky. These choppers are larger than the widely used Black Hawk helicopters, which are also developed by Sikorsky. The president’s VH-92As will have specially designed fuel tanks that will extend the helicopters range.
As part of the aircraft’s testing, popularmechanics.com reports that the aircraft will go through “live fire testing”, implying that the helicopter will be armored against ground fire. Furthermore, it is very likely that the VH-92A’s electronics will be able to withstand the electromagnetic blast of a nuclear explosion, much like the president’s 747 airplane.
Another safe bet to make regarding the helicopter will be its barrage of countermeasures intended to protect the helicopter and it’s VIP passengers.
The helicopter will also utilize all the common avionics as well as advanced avionic systems. GPS, a traffic collision avoidance system, and survivability systems are just some of the instruments that will definitely be a part of the VH-92A.
Aside from security, durability, and range, at the end of the day its the president of the largest economy and military in the world flying in the helicopter, so it would seem necessary for the interior to be classy and comfortable. The helicopter will be fitted with executive suite furnishings, allowing for a comfortable ride.