Sikorsky lands a $232mn contract for two additional CH-53K test helicopters

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Sikorsky lands a $232mn contract for two additional CH-53K test helicopters
Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin, is being awarded $232,075,337 contract for the procurement of two CH-53K King Stallion system demonstration test article aircraft, the US DoD announced on Sept. 23 on its website.
Sikorsky lands 232mn contract for two additional CH 53K test helicopters  A Sikorsky's CH-53K heavy-lift chopper prototype
(Credit: Lockheed Martin/Sikorsky)
Work will mainly be performed in Stratford, Connecticut; Wichita, Kansas; and West Palm Beach, Florida. The work is expected to be completed in February 2020.

The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.

The U.S. Department of Defense's Program of Record remains at 200 CH-53K aircraft. The first four of the 200 are scheduled for delivery next year to the USMC. An additional four aircraft are under long lead procurement for parts and materials with delivery scheduled in 2019. USMC initial operating capability is scheduled for 2019. The Marine Corps intends to stand up eight active duty squadrons, one training squadron, and one reserve squadron to support operational requirements.

With more than triple the payload capability of the predecessor CH-53E, the King Stallion’s increased capability can accommodate a range of payloads from an internally loaded High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) up to three independent external loads at once, providing wide mission flexibility and system efficiency. Additionally, a locking U.S. Air Force pallet compatible cargo rail system reduces both effort and time to load and unload palletized cargo.