National Security

Trump July 4 flyover to show off experimental new Marine One helicopter

The next generation “Marine One” presidential helicopter will make its first public flight at President Donald Trump’s July 4 event, two U.S. officials confirmed to McClatchy.

The helicopter is not in official use yet. It is being produced by a team from Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky. In the last few months the helicopter has flown test flights around Washington, D.C., but this will be its first introduction to the general public, the officials said.

The Navy has taken possession of the first three of the new helicopters, but it will be operated by Marines once it is brought into official service. In June the Navy announced that it had awarded Sikorsky $542 million to build an additional six aircraft, which are not expected into service until the mid-2020s.

Known as the VH-92, the next generation Marine One will join an array of other advanced jets, including the VC-25, the president’s Air Force One 747, Marine Corps V-22 Ospreys, Navy F/A-18 fighters, Army AH-64 Apache helicopters and the Air Force’s signature strategic bomber, the B-2.

The Washington, D.C., flyovers are expected to take place in the early evening as part of the president’s new July 4th celebration lineup, one of the officials said.

Tara Copp is the national military and veterans affairs correspondent for McClatchy. She has reported extensively through the Middle East, Asia and Europe to cover defense policy and its impact on the lives of service members. She was previously the Pentagon bureau chief for Military Times and a senior defense analyst for the U.S. Government Accountability Office. She is the author of the award-winning book “The Warbird: Three Heroes. Two Wars. One Story.”