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Friday, June 1, 2007

Lockheed Says VH-71 is On Track

A tight timetable for production of the Lockheed VH-71, the new presidential helicopter, is leading to cost overruns and aggravating weight problems in building the new aircraft, according to a Lockheed executive.  But, said the executive at a meeting of investors, the plan is still on track. The U.S. Navy is buying 28 VH-71s to replace the 40-year-old Sikorskys now in use. The remarks follow a March Government Accountability Office report that said the program was exceeding cost estimates by 18 percent and that the aircraft would be at least 1,200 lbs overweight. The contract was awarded to Lockheed in 2005 and calls for the first five aircraft to be delivered in Oct 2009, a timeline Lockheed said has contributed to higher costs. The company assured investors the remaining 23 helicopters would be delivered on time. For related news

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