HARTFORD (CBS Connecticut) — Connecticut-based Sikorsky Aircraft,  which has built the Presidential “Marine One” for the U.S. Navy since the 1950s has been chosen to build the next fleet of presidential helicopters.

The company today announced a nearly one-and-a-quarter billion dollar contract to modify, test and deliver six  dual-engine, medium-lift S-92 test aircraft helicopters and two simulators to the Marine Corps,  the initial step toward a total of 21 operational aircraft.

The aircraft will be assembled at Sikorsky’s Coatesville, Pennsylvania plant,  and some specialized communications systems will be installed by Lockheed Martin in Oswego, New York,  but the helicopters will be modified at the Sikorsky headquarters in Stratford for specific presidential modifications and the interior of the cabin.

Company President Mick Maurer said the company is “honored by this news and the vote of confidence in the Sikorsky team and the proven S-92 platform.”  Governor Malloy said the contract shows that “Connecticut firms. . . are building the right things at the right time;  high quality products specifically called for in the Pentagon’s national security strategy.”

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