Lockheed Martin
Lockheed Sikorsky Usn Ch53 K 800 5f9b28172e776

Lockheed Draws $550M Order for New Navy Helos

Oct. 29, 2020
Sikorsky Aircraft will add six new heavy-lift cargo helicopters to its production program already underway following a new U.S. Navy award.

The U.S. Navy awarded contracts estimated at $550.4 million to Lockheed Martin subsidiary Sikorsky Aircraft to proceed with production and delivery of six CH-53K helicopters, representing a modification (Lot IV) to an earlier low-rate initial production order, part of a defense program that will include 200 aircraft. Five of the new helicopters are in production now at Sikorsky operations in Connecticut, based on previous orders, with the first deliveries scheduled for September 2021.

The Sikorsky CH-53K “King Stallion” is a heavy-lift cargo helicopter developed for the U.S. Marine Corps to replace an earlier version, CH-53E, that has been in use since 1981. The CH-53K design emphasizes "low maintenance, high availability and enhanced survivability in the most austere and remote forward operating bases."

The King Stallion is equipped with single, dual, and triple external cargo hook capability that allows for transfer of three independent external loads to three separate landing zones, in support of distributed operations in a single sortie, without having to return to a ship or other logistical hub.

The Lot IV modification, in addition to the six aircraft, includes programmatic and logistics support, rate tooling, and physical configuration audits. The work on this order is expected to be completed in July 2024.

"This contract award is a testament to the government's confidence in the CH-53K platform. This award shows that we are working hard to make the aircraft more affordable," stated Major General Greg Masiello, program executive office, air ASW, assault and special mission programs. "The capability and affordability of the CH-53K is important to ensure that we provide a valuable addition to the United States Marine Corps and our friends and allies."