Boeing Co. announced Monday that it planned to ask the Navy to consider one of three aircraft models for a planned project to replace the presidential helicopter fleet, while a second local company has also expressed interest.
Ridley Park-based Boeing Rotorcraft Systems said it will offer a helicopter based on its Chinook or Osprey aircraft and is securing a license from AgustaWestland to produce a Boeing version of its AW101 medium-lift aircraft. (AgustaWestland also has local operations, at Northeast Philadelphia Airport.)
Connecticut-based Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., which has a facility in Coatesville, also intends to make a play for the lucrative contract. Sikorsky will offer a model based on its H-92 helicopter. The current presidential fleet is composed of Sikorsky VH-60 helicopters.
Several dozen helicopters would be built for the president under the eventual project.
Boeing, which has local Chinook and Osprey assembly lines, said it was too soon to say where the copters would be built if the company turned out to be a winning bidder. The manufacturing would occur on U.S. soil, the company said.
The Navy has set a June 17 deadline for receiving preliminary information from interested parties. Formal bidding is expected to occur in 2011.