US Marine Corps award CH-53K Helicopter production contract
Lockheed Martin has been awarded a contract by Naval Air Systems Command to build two production CH-53K King Stallion helicopters.
This Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) contract award follows the April 4, 2017, Milestone C decision by the Defense Acquisition Board (DAB) approving LRIP production.
Dr. Mike Torok, Vice President, CH-53K programs said: “Gaining the U.S. Marine Corps approval to enter into production and the award of the first contract are milestones made possible by the tremendous achievements of the joint Sikorsky, Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) and U.S. Marine Corps team.
“This is what we have been striving for – to deliver this amazing capability to the U.S. Marine Corps.”
Under the $303 million contract, Sikorsky will deliver two production aircraft to the U.S. Marine Corps in 2020 along with spares and logistical support. The aircraft assembly will be undertaken at Sikorsky’s headquarters in Stratford, Connecticut.
The CH-53K King Stallion sees a number of upgrades over its predecessor, the CH-53E Super Stallion.
The helicopter cabin, a full foot wider, gives increased payload capacity to internally load 463L cargo pallets, High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWV) or a European Fenneck armored personnel carrier while still leaving the troop seats installed. The CH-53K’s external hook system provides the capability to lift three independent external loads simultaneously.
These heavy lift internal and external cargo improvements give the Marine Corps tremendous mission flexibility and efficiency in delivering combat power in support of the Marine Air Ground Task Force or in delivering humanitarian assistance or disaster relief to those in need.
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