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October 7, 2018

Marine One, the President’s Helicopter, Boggles the Mind

Everyone knows about Air Force One — there was even a movie named after it — but what about Marine One, the specially built helicopter that serves as the president’s traffic-dodger and escape vehicle?

As it turns out, it’s one of the most awe-inspiring, badass helicopters on earth.

Marine One Features

It can cruise at a breezy 150 miles per hour, and can continue flying even if one of its three engines fail. It has ballistic armor, advanced missile warning systems and anti-missile defenses.  The interior is so quiet that passengers can speak in a normal tone of voice.

No matter where in the world it lands, the president is greeted, and saluted, by a Marine. No matter where it flies, it’s accompanied by an identical decoy — just like Air Force One.

History of Marine One

Marine One is actually many helicopters — currently eleven Sikorsky VH-3Ds and eight Sikorsky VH-60Ns — piloted by Marine Helicopter Squadron One (HMX-1), a United States Marine Corps helicopter squadron responsible for the transportation of the President of the United States, Vice President and other heads of state.

The first time a helicopter transported the President was in 1957 when President Dwight D. Eisenhower flew on a Bell UH-13J Sioux, which was soon replaced by a Sikorsky UH-34 Seahorse.

Sikorsky’s New Marine One to be Operational 2020

Sikorsky’s VH-92 is set to take up the mantle of Marine One in 2020.

The biggest difference between the VH-92A and its predecessors is its three ventral fairings for the helicopter’s Directional Infrared Countermeasures (DIRCM) system — the laser-based infrared-guided missile blinding system that is the critical defensive measure aboard Air Force One, Marine One, and other American military aircraft.

The U.S. Navy plans to buy 23 VH-92As, 21 of which will go into HMX-1.

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