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Sikorsky Secures $2.7 Billion Contract from U.S. Navy to Manufacture 36 CH-53K Helicopters
By Sea and Coast | 30/08/2023
Sikorsky, a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin, has reportedly been awarded a substantial $2.7 billion contract by the U.S. Navy for the construction of an additional 35 helicopters, specifically the CH-53K King Stallion model. This procurement represents the largest to date for this aircraft and is scheduled for deliveries commencing in 2026, divided into three phases.
Under this agreement, 12 helicopters are designated for the U.S. Marine Corps Lot 7, with an added 15 allocated for Marine Corps Lot 8. The remaining eight units are designated for the Israeli Air Force. These helicopters will support Israeli special programs encompassing tasks such as troop and cargo transport, as well as search and rescue missions.
Renowned for its heavy-lift capabilities, the CH-53K serves as a versatile multimission helicopter. Distinguishing itself, it stands as the sole heavy-lift helicopter in active production until at least 2032. The helicopter boasts the ability to carry an impressive 27,000 pounds of cargo over distances exceeding 110 nautical miles even in hot conditions. Its operational scope includes the transportation of personnel, equipment, and armored vehicles for inland missions emanating from maritime-oriented operational bases.
Sikorsky's receipt of the contract for 35 CH-53K helicopters is poised to provide stability to the company's nationwide supply chain and yield increased production efficiencies. This endeavor aligns with the U.S. Marine Corps' quest for transformative 21st-century technology, as affirmed by Sikorsky's president, Paul Lemmo, on August 24th.
Years of collaborative partnership have culminated in the acquisition of this contract award, a testament to the provided capability and readiness that meet the Marines' requisites.
This news follows the Navy's announcement in the previous December, confirming the approval of the CH-53K program for Full Rate Production. This significant development authorized a surge in procurement volumes and concurrent reduction in unit costs. Consequently, the annual production output is anticipated to exceed 20 helicopters.
Sikorsky is poised to support this heightened production through the utilization of its digital factory capabilities.