Sikorsky has been tasked with delivering nine additional CH-53K King Stallion aircraft to the US Navy as part of an expanded contract.
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The nine heavy-lift helicopters 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.
The nine additional Sikorsky-built helicopters are scheduled to be delivered from 2024.
“Our aggressive focus on quality and affordability and strong government-industry partnership has successfully reduced the aircraft price,” Bill Falk, Sikorsky CH-53K program director, said.
“We look forward to expanding our digital-build and production and delivering this advanced heavy lift aircraft as quickly as possible to the Marine Corps, joint force, and our allies.
“Our nationwide network of suppliers is contributing to cost reduction efforts and this award will continue our collaboration, realising even more efficiencies.”
Sikorsky has delivered three operational CH-53K King Stallion heavy-lift helicopters to the US Marine Corps since October 2020.
The Marine Operational Test & Evaluation Squadron 1, VMX-1, has been flying the aircraft in preparation for the Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) phase.
This is set to involve the evaluation of the CH-53K helicopter’s performance in fleet operating conditions at sea, in sand and lifting external loads.
“The delivery of three CH-53K King Stallion helicopters is significant in that it continues the training process for the Marines, ensuring a smooth entry into service for this intelligent aircraft that offers dramatic improvements in performance, survivability, reliability and maintenance for the Marines 21st century missions,” Falk added.