Sikorsky Aircraft will build nine more CH-53K™ heavy-lift helicopters for the U.S. Navy under a new contract that includes agreement on the price for a follow-on orders. With a reported value of $878.7 million the new contract represents Lot 5 of an overall order for 33 aircraft for the U.S. Marine Corps, of which three already have been delivered.
Sikorsky -- a Lockheed Martin Corp. subsidiary -- will begin deliveries of the nine aircraft in 2024. The new contact also sets the cost for nine more aircraft, Lot 6 for the series, to be exercised no later than February 2022.
The CH-53K helicopters are built at Sikorsky’s manufacturing center in Stratford, Conn.
The USMC has agreed to purchase a total of 200 of the CH-53K series at a total cost of $25 billion. The Lot 5 contract lowers the unit cost of the helicopter to $97.6 million, and for Lot 6 the unit cost would be $94.7 million apiece, though these figures do not include the engine costs.
“Our aggressive focus on quality and affordability and strong government-industry partnership has successfully reduced the aircraft price,” stated Sikorsky’s CH-53K program director, Bill Falk. “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.”
The CH-53K King Stallion is the largest heavy-lift cargo helicopter in use by the U.S. armed forces, with three 7,500-hp, composite rotor blades, and a wider aircraft cabin than earlier designs of the CH-53.
Sikorsky Aircraft is a Lockheed Martin Corp. subsidiary. The CH-53K helicopters are built at Sikorsky’s manufacturing center in Stratford, Conn.