28 May 2019

Sikorsky wins contract to build 12 CH-53K heavy lift helicopters

The Naval Air Systems Command has awarded a contract worth
$1.3 billion for 12 aircraft to Sikorsky for the US Marine Corps CH-53K King
Stallion.

The most powerful helicopter in the Department of Defense, the Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion is a new-build helicopter that will expand the fleet’s ability to move more material, more rapidly throughout the area of responsibility using proven and mature technologies. The CH-53K is the only aircraft able to provide the Marine Corps with the heavy-lift capability it needs to meet future operational requirements for the vertical lift mission.

Designed and demonstrated the lift capability of nearly 14
tons at a mission radius of 110 nautical miles, in Navy high/hot environments,
the CH-53K lifts triple the baseline CH-53E lift capability. The CH-53K has
proven the ability to lift up to 36,000lbs via the external cargo hook. The
CH-53K will have an equivalent logistics shipboard footprint, lower operating
costs per aircraft, and less direct maintenance man hours per flight hour. The
combination of unmatched heavy-lift and range, fly-by-wire flight controls,
with an advanced, integrated communications suite will provide the Marine Corps
with the operational flexibility necessary to gain and, more importantly,
sustain a tactical edge on the battlefield.

James Geurts, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition, said: “This contract award reflects close cooperation and risk sharing between the Government and industry teams to deliver critical capabilities to the Marine Corps.

“Working with our industry partners, the team ensured that solutions for technical challenges are incorporated into these production aircraft. This reflects the urgency to ensure we deliver capabilities necessary to support the Marine Corps and the Department of Navy’s mission, while continuing to drive affordability and accountability into the program.”

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