Utilizing proven advanced manufacturing techniques and continuing to drive down unit price, Sikorsky will build nine more CH-53K™ heavy lift helicopters under a new contract for the U.S. Navy. This production award also includes an agreement for the next production contract at an even lower unit price which will decrease further if additional quantity options are exercised, resulting in significant savings for the U.S. government and taxpayers.
“Our aggressive focus on quality and affordability and strong government-industry partnership has successfully reduced the aircraft price. 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,“ said Bill Falk, Sikorsky CH-53K program director. “Our nationwide network of suppliers is contributing to cost reduction efforts and this award will continue our collaboration, realizing even more efficiencies.”
The nine helicopters are part of a 200 aircraft Program of Record for the U.S. Marine Corps for a total of 33 production aircraft under contract with 3 of the 33 already delivered to the U.S. Marine Corps. Sikorsky will begin deliveries of the nine additional aircraft in 2024.Sikorsky and the U.S. Navy also agreed to an even lower aircraft price for the next production contract of nine helicopters, to be exercised no later than February 2022.
Since October 2020, Sikorsky has delivered three operational CH-53K King Stallion heavy lift helicopters to the U.S. Marine Corps in Jacksonville, North Carolina. The Marine Operational Test & Evaluation Squadron 1, VMX-1, has begun flying the CH-53K aircraft as they prepare for the next phase of assessment known as Initial Operational Test and Evaluation, (IOT&E). Marines will evaluate how the CH-53K™ helicopter performs in fleet operating conditions at sea, in sand and lifting external loads.
The Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion is a heavy-lift cargo helicopter currently being produced by Sikorsky Aircraft for the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC). The design features three 7,500 shp (5,590 kW) engines, new composite rotor blades, and a wider aircraft cabin than previous CH-53 variants. It will be the largest and heaviest helicopter in the U.S. military. The USMC plans to receive 200 helicopters at a total cost of $25 billion. The CH-53K is a general redesign with new engines and cockpit layout. The CH-53K will use General Electric T408 (GE38-1B) engines rated at 7,500 shp (5,600 kW) each and able to fly 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph) faster than its CH-53E predecessor.
The CH-53K King Stallion advances Sikorsky’s 50 years of manufacturing and operational success with its CH-53A, CH-53D/G, and CH-53E predecessors. The CH-53K helicopter has been designed and built to the exacting standards of the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) and will serve as its critical land and sea based logistics connector. The new heavy lifter will allow the U.S. Marine Corps and international militaries to move troops and equipment from ship to shore, and to higher altitude terrain, more quickly and effectively than ever before.