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Lockheed Martin VH-71 Kestrel

VIP / Government Passenger Transport Helicopter

Lockheed Martin VH-71 Kestrel

VIP / Government Passenger Transport Helicopter

OVERVIEW
SPECIFICATIONS
ARMAMENT
VARIANTS
HISTORY
MEDIA
OVERVIEW



The Lockheed VH-71 Kestrel was an attempt to succeed the line of Sikorsky SH-3 Sea Kings in the Marine One role.
National Flag Graphic
ORIGIN: United States
YEAR: 2007
STATUS: Cancelled
MANUFACTURER(S): Lockheed Martin / Bell Helicopter - USA / AgustaWestland - Italy
PRODUCTION: 9
OPERATORS: United States (cancelled)
SPECIFICATIONS



Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Lockheed Martin VH-71 Kestrel model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
CREW: 4
LENGTH: 64.14 feet (19.55 meters)
WIDTH: 61.02 feet (18.6 meters)
HEIGHT: 21.72 feet (6.62 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 23,149 pounds (10,500 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 34,392 pounds (15,600 kilograms)
ENGINE: 3 x General Electric CT7-8E turboshaft engines developing 2,520 horsepower each driving a five-bladed main rotor and four-bladed tail rotor.
SPEED (MAX): 193 miles-per-hour (310 kilometers-per-hour; 167 knots)
RANGE: 870 miles (1,400 kilometers; 756 nautical miles)
CEILING: 15,010 feet (4,575 meters; 2.84 miles)
RATE-OF-CLIMB: 2,010 feet-per-minute (613 meters-per-minute)




ARMAMENT



None publicized.
VARIANTS



Series Model Variants
• VH-71 "Kestrel" - Base Series Designation; nine examples completed.


HISTORY



Detailing the development and operational history of the Lockheed Martin VH-71 Kestrel VIP / Government Passenger Transport Helicopter.  Entry last updated on 2/20/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
The Lockheed VH-71 Kestrel was an attempt by the United States military to replace its aging line of SH-3 "Sea King" helicopters serving in the USMC's "Marine One" role (the transport used to carry the President of the United States and his immediate staff). The venture became riddled with delays and cost overruns to the point that, in 2009, President Obama suggested postponing the project or cancelling it altogether. After some $4.4 billion was already spent on the project, the program was ended in June of 2009 and the United States Navy (USN) took delivery of the nine completed specimens.

The Kestrel was based on the framework of the Italian-British AgustaWestland EH101/AW101 "Merlin", a three-engined medium-lift transport / utility helicopter type. This aircraft first flew in October of 1987 and was introduced for service in 1999. The helicopter was eventually taken into service with the British Royal Navy as well as the Italian Navy and Royal Danish Air Force. Many more operators have been added since.

it appeared that the in-service, versatile platform would lend itself well to conversion for the VIP passenger role at the federal level so Lockheed Martin headed an international joint-venture to secure the EH101/AW101 as the follow-up to the SH-3 in the Marine One role. The teaming also involved the helicopter's maker, AgustaWestland of Italy, as well as Bell Helicopter (United States). The Lockheed product was then known as the "US101".




An official Request for Proposal (RFP) went out in December of 2003 and looked to cover some twenty-three helicopters for the Marine One program (as well as serve as successor to the U.S. government VH-60N fleet). The program designated the aircraft as "VXX" for the interim and both AgustaWestland and Sikorsky met the RFP. After reviewing the bids, the selection of US101 was made in January of 2005. The helicopter was then designated as the VH-71 "Kestrel".

However, the Kestrel program was ripe with issues from the get-go. It was oft-delayed and there proved many developmental issues in bringing the helicopter program to fruition. Couple this to rising program costs and there stood little gain in continued focus and investment on the part of the U.S. government to see the Kestrel program through. There were many discussions on the helicopter's future had into the latter half of the decade and all this culminated with its cancellation in 2009 - despite the work that had been completed to date and the costs entailed in cancelling the program in full.

The existing VH-71 helicopter fleet, numbering nine airframes, was sold off to Canada and these were to be used as spares for the RCAF CH-149 "Cormorant" SAR helicopter fleet (also based on the Merlin series).




MEDIA









Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 200mph
Lo: 100mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (193mph).

    Graph average of 150 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
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  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
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  MSK
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  TKY
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  SYD
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  NYC
Graph showcases the Lockheed Martin VH-71 Kestrel's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
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Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
9
9

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Supported Roles
A2A
Interception
UAV
Ground Attack
CAS
Training
ASW
Anti-Ship
AEW
MEDEVAC
EW
Maritime/Navy
SAR
Aerial Tanker
Utility/Transport
VIP
Passenger
Business
Recon
SPECOPS
X-Plane/Development
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue
Commitments / Honors
Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental x-plane aircraft
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.