A US$3.4 billion order for the Sikorsky-built heavy lift helicopters from the Israeli government has been approved.
Israel is set to secure up to 18 Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion Heavy Lift Helicopters from the US via a foreign military sale, after the Defense Security Cooperation Agency confirmed approval from the State Department.
The US$3.4 billion ($4.6 billion) order also includes up to 60 T408-GE-400 Engines (54 installed, six spares), and up to 36 Embedded Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation Systems (EGI) with Selective Availability/Anti-Spoofing Module (SAASM).
“The United States is committed to the security of Israel, and it is vital to US national interests to assist Israel to develop and maintain a strong and ready self-defence capability,” the DSCA noted in a statement.
“This proposed sale is consistent with those objectives.”
The King Stallion helicopters are expected to deploy as a “deterrent to regional threats” and to “strengthen its homeland defence”.
Sikorsky’s parent company, Lockheed Martin Global, and General Electric will facilitate the transaction, which will require contractor representatives to participate in program and technical reviews.
Approximately four contractor support representatives will also relocate to Israel for a period of three years to support the order.
The CH-53K helicopter has been designed and built to serve as a critical land and sea based logistics connector, enabling fast transportation of troops and equipment from ship to shore, and to higher altitude terrain.
Earlier this year, Sikorsky was tasked with delivering nine additional CH-53K King Stallion aircraft to the US Navy as part of an expanded contract.
The nine heavy-lift helicopters, scheduled to be delivered from 2024, form part of a 200 aircraft ‘Program of Record’ for the US Marine Corps, with a total of 33 production aircraft under contract — three of which have already been delivered.
News Editor – Defence and Security, Momentum Media
Prior to joining the defence and aerospace team in 2020, Charbel was news editor of The Adviser and Mortgage Business, where he covered developments in the banking and financial services sector for three years. Charbel has a keen interest in geopolitics and international relations, graduating from the University of Notre Dame with a double major in politics and journalism. Charbel has also completed internships with The Australian Department of Communications and the Arts and public relations agency Fifty Acres.