Military Embedded Systems

Additional CH-53K King Stallion helicopters to be delivered to Navy


October 29, 2020

Emma Helfrich

Technology Editor

Military Embedded Systems

Lockheed Martin photo.

STRATFORD, Conn. Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, announced it will build six additional production CH-53K King Stallion helicopters under a new contract for the U.S. Navy. The additional aircraft are intended to further support the U.S. Marine Corps in its mission to conduct expeditionary heavy-lift assault transport of armored vehicles, equipment, and personnel to support distributed operations deep inland from a sea-based center of operations.

The six helicopters are part of 200 aircraft Program of Record for the U.S. Marine Corps, and their addition makes a total of 24 CH-53K production aircraft now under contract. Under the terms of this most recent contract, Sikorsky will begin deliveries of the six aircraft in January 2024.

According to the company, the CH-53K program has five aircraft on the line at Sikorsky facilities in Connecticut and over two dozen in various stages of production. The program will deliver the first low rate initial production aircraft in September 2021.

The CH-53K is also nearing the conclusion of the developmental flight test events in preparation for Initial Operational Test & Evaluation (IOT&E). This year, the aircraft completed air-to-air refueling with an external load, initial sea trials, and flight tests in extremely hot and dusty conditions at U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground in Yuma, Arizona, according to the company.