Thursday, October 29, 2020

Navy orders six more CH-53K King Stallion helicopters

Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, will build six additional production CH-53K King Stallion helicopters under a new contract for the U.S. Navy. The aircraft will further support the U.S. Marine Corps in its mission to conduct expeditionary heavy-lift assault transport of armored vehicles, equipment and personnel to support distributed operations deep inland from a sea-based center of operations.

The six helicopters are part of a 200 aircraft program for the Marine Corps, and their addition makes a total of 24 CH-53K production aircraft now under contract. Sikorsky will begin deliveries of the six aircraft in January 2024.

The CH-53K program has five aircraft on the line at Sikorsky facilities in Connecticut and over  two dozen in various stages of production. The program will deliver the first low rate initial production aircraft in September 2021.

Sikorsky and its suppliers have made significant investments in facilities, machinery, tooling, and workforce training to ramp up production required for the CH-53K program. For example, for the first time, newly installed 10-ton cranes lifted a 12,000-pound gearbox into a CH-53K production aircraft.

The CH-53K is also nearing the conclusion of the developmental flight test events in preparation for Initial Operational Test & Evaluation, having flown more than 2,000 flight hours validating the aircraft's performance on a ship and in both hot and cold environments.

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