The U.S. Navy has reportedly awarded Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin subsidiary, a whopping $2.7 billion contract for building 35 additional helicopters (CH-53K King Stallion). It is also the greatest procurement for the aircraft to date and will see deliveries starting in 2026, divided into three parts.
Following the arrangement, 12 aircraft shall be provided for the U.S. Marine Corps Lot 7 and an additional 15 for Marine Corps Lot 8. The other eight will go to the Israeli Air Force. The latter will provide for Israeli special programs in troop and cargo transport, as well as search and rescue missions.
The CH-53K is a multimission helicopter that boasts heavy-lift abilities — it is also the only current heavy-lift helicopter to be in production up to 2032 and beyond. It can carry a load of 27,000 pounds for more than 110 nm in hot conditions. It can transport personnel, equipment, and armoured vehicles to operations deep inland from sea-oriented operation facilities.
The contract award for 35 CH-53K helicopters is known to stabilize Sikorsky’s nationwide supply base, result in additional production efficiencies, and offer U.S. Marine Corps transformational 21st-century tech, per Paul Lemmo, the president of Sikorsky, on 24 August.
Long-standing collaboration has led to securing the best-value contract award, offering the capability and readiness the Marines require.
The news report followed the Navy’s declaration in December last year that the CH-53K program was well-approved for a Full Rate Production, permitting the military to start boosting procurement quantities and lowering unit costs. As a result, production is likely to rise to over 20 helicopters each year.
Sikorsky is going to support this production via its digital factory.
References: Breaking Defense, Homeland Preparedness News, wtnh.com
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