VESTAL, NY (WSKG) — A new chopper for the President and a drone-killing laser are on the to-do list at the Lockheed Martin plant in Owego. The project were recently approved by Congress as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
One project has Lockheed Martin putting final touches on the next Marine-One. It’s the helicopter in the presidential fleet that transports the Commander in Chief. It will also work on similar helicopters sold to the Navy for use in anti-submarine warfare, search and rescue, and anti-ship combat.
“The fiscal year ‘20 National Defense Authorization Act included $1.5 billion for 18 helicopters: 12 combat/rescue and 6 VH92 presidential. All of which come here to Owego for final fitting,” said Congressman Anthony Brindisi.
Brindisi is a member of the House Armed Services Committee. He called it an honor for the helicopter that carries the president to be completed in Tioga County.
Another project awarded to Lockheed includes manufacturing parts for a drone-killing high energy laser. The High Energy Laser with Integrated Optical-dazzler and Surveillance (HELIOS) system can defend American naval vessels against drones, small boats and cruise missiles.
Brindisi said the U.S. is responding to threats from Russia, China, North Korea and Iran.
Brindisi, who is running for reelection, represents New York’s 22nd district which stretches from the Pennsylvania state line all the way north to Lake Ontario. It includes parts of Tioga and Broome and all of Chenango and Cortland counties.