Navy Terminates Contract for VH-71 Presidential Helicopter
(Source: US Department of Defense; issued June 01, 2009)
Termination of the VH-71 Presidential helicopter program means the Pentagon will have to write off the $3 billion spent to date, in addition to termination fees, and will still have to develop a new program. (AgustaWestland photo)
The Navy today announced that it will terminate the VH-71 System Development and Demonstration (SDD) program contract. The announcement follows a Department of Defense (DoD) decision to cancel the existing presidential helicopter replacement program.

The VH-71 was intended to replace both the VH-3D and VH-60N aircraft currently used to conduct presidential support missions.

Navy contract N00019-05-C-0030 and associated work with Lockheed Martin Systems Integration – Owego (LMSI-O), Owego, N.Y., awarded Jan. 28, 2005, for the SDD of the VH-71 program, has been terminated for the convenience of the government.

The under secretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics issued a VH-71 program acquisition decision memorandum on May 15, 2009, which directed the program be cancelled, to include both Increment 1 and Increment 2.

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VH-71 Terminated
(Source: US Naval Air Systems Command; issued May 15, web-posted June 1, 2009)
(This item became accessible on the Navair website on June 22, 2009)
PATUXENT RIVER NAVAL AIR STATION, Md. --- A termination letter was issued today to Lockheed Martin Systems Integration – Owego, N.Y. for Increment 1 and Increment 2 of the VH-71 contract.

The Naval Air Systems Command Contracting Office directed termination, for convenience of the Government, of all activities associated with VH-71 Systems Design and Demonstration requirements; with the exception of the necessary steps to retain those technologies currently undergoing development and evaluation as part of the VH-71 program that present potential benefit to other programs, and options for the disposition of program assets.

This contract termination was put in place following cancellation direction by Dr. Ashton Carter, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology & Logistics, in a May 15 Acquisition Decision Memorandum. The decision resulted from cost growth in the VH-71 program that breached critical Nunn-McCurdy thresholds and from a comprehensive program review that occurred during development of the President's FY10 budget submission.

As directed by Dr. Carter, the Navy will begin to develop options for a Presidential Helicopter Replacement program and present these to the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics.

The President's FY10 budget includes money for government efforts for service life extensions for the current Presidential Helicopter fleet and to develop options for a Presidential Helicopter Replacement program. The budget also funds any necessary VH-71 program termination costs.

Final termination costs for the VH-71 will not be known until the termination settlement has been completed. The contractor has up to one year to submit the termination proposal.

The Navy continues to review a range of options regarding the already-built VH-71 aircraft to include sales to interested parties, contractor buy-back or potential applications to other DoD needs.

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