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Sikorsky Submits VH-92 Proposal for Presidential Helicopter Mission

February 02, 2004

  STRATFORD, Connecticut - The Sikorsky-led VH-92 Team today submitted to the government its fully-compliant proposal for the next generation presidential helicopter, a major milestone in the company's effort to continue its service to the Commander in Chief.

"We believe we have the best value proposal and the safest and most secure Marine One system in the competition, and we are honored to submit this document on schedule to our customer," said Sikorsky President Steve Finger. "The safety and security of the President of the United States is our number one priority, just as it has been since the first presidential helicopter flight in a Sikorsky helicopter nearly 47 years ago."

The VXX competition, as it is formally designated, will decide which helicopter system will be developed and deployed to HMX-1, the U.S. Marine Corps squadron that is responsible for moving the President by helicopter. The Sikorsky VH-92 is competing against an international consortium offering a helicopter designed and developed in Europe.

The Sikorsky VH-92 Team will protect the security of the President by performing and controlling all work within the United States, using proven and security-cleared people, processes and facilities. The VH-92 team includes FlightSafety International (simulation systems and training); L-3 Communications Integrated Systems (mission communications systems and interior furnishings); Northrop Grumman (aircraft survivability systems); Rockwell Collins (major cockpit systems); and Vought Aircraft Industries (integrated aerostructures). General Electric Aircraft Engines will supply the propulsion for the VH-92.

The VH-92 proposal is a significant document, comprising thousands of pages of information and 1,500 charts and graphs, organized into separate volumes for presentation to the government. The work was done by approximately 200 technical and support staff members, in a separate facility located near the company's main plant in Stratford. The team has been working seven days a week since the Request for Proposal was issued on December 18, 2003. Final delivery of the proposal - both hard copy and electronic file transfer -- was completed today at the Naval Air Systems Command in Patuxent River, Maryland.

Finger noted that Sikorsky's proposal is fully compliant in every respect. We do not require the customer to consider even a single change to the requirements from the original Request for Proposal. That is a real testament to the readiness of The All-American VH-92 Team to perform the presidential mission.

"I couldn't be more proud of this team," Finger continued. "They sacrificed home and family through the holiday season to ensure we delivered the highest quality proposal possible. They brought together the many professional disciplines it takes to create a comprehensive and winning proposal, and I am very grateful for their efforts."

Follow up activities for the proposal team in the weeks ahead include responding to questions from the customer, as well as successfully completing a flight test program designed to highlight the capabilities of the VH-92 aircraft. The Navy's final decision is expected in the late spring or early summer.

The VH-92 is Sikorsky's solution for the presidential requirement. It incorporates many of the safety features of the award-winning Sikorsky S-92, America's newest and most advanced medium-lift helicopter. Among the basic S-92 safety features incorporated into the VH-92 are: flaw tolerant designs that prevent routine dents or corrosion from becoming a safety issue; external, suction-fed fuel tanks; and complete bird-strike protection across the entire aircraft, including the rotors, up to the maximum operating speed of the helicopter.

Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, based in Stratford, Conn., is a world leader in the design, manufacture and service of advanced helicopters for commercial, industrial and military uses. Sikorsky helicopters occupy a prominent position in the intermediate to heavy range of 5,300 kg. to 33,000 kg. gross weight. They are flown by all five branches of the United States armed forces, along with military services and commercial operators in more than 40 nations. Sikorsky is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corporation (NYSE:UTX), of Hartford, Conn., which provides a broad range of high-technology products and support services to the aerospace and building systems industries.

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