OWEGO, NY-Lockheed Martin Corp. (Bethesda, MD) has opened a new integration center for work on the next-generation VH-71 Presidential Helicopter.

"[This] puts us one step closer to seeing a new presidential helicopter flying from the White House," says Bob Stevens, CEO Lockheed Martin. "It is a tangible example of the commitment of the entire Lockheed Martin Corporation to the success of this critical program."

The new 176,000-square-foot facility features aircraft integration hangars, program management and engineering office space, systems integration laboratories, aircraft parts storage, and maintenance and helicopter paint facilities. The complex also includes a new helicopter flight operations area.

Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor and systems integrator for the Navy's VH-71 Presidential Helicopter program with overall responsibility for the program and aircraft system. The VH-71 is based on the US101 helicopter, the American variant of AgustaWestland's EH101 multimission helicopter.

AgustaWestlandBell, the U.S. principal subcontractor to Lockheed Martin, has responsibility for the basic air vehicle design, production build and basic air vehicle support functions. More than 200 suppliers in 41 states support the VH-71 program.