The CH-53K helicopters will be built at Sikorsky’s headquarters in Stratford, Conn., leveraging the company’s advanced technology and digital construction processes.
The CH-53K will further support the United States Marine Corps in its mission to perform heavy expeditionary assault transports of armored vehicles, equipment and personnel to support distributed inland operations from of an operations center at sea, essential in the Indo-Pacific region.
These nine helicopters are part of a record 200 aircraft program for the United States Marine Corps, with deliveries beginning in 2025.
“By embracing resilient and predictive logistics and sustainment, we enable CH-5K crews to make smarter and faster decisions, increase reliability, and improve materiel readiness and availability while reducing the load on the fleet,” said Bill Falk, director of Sikorsky CH. -53K programs. “After 50 years supporting the CH-53E, Sikorsky has a deep understanding of the heavy lift mission and an enduring partnership with the US Marines Corps enabling our team and proven supply chain to deliver solutions on measure resulting in more effective missions.”
Sikorsky delivered five CH-53K King Stallions to the US Marine Corps
The factory is active with seven CH-53K aircraft under construction, and there are another 47 aircraft in various stages of production. Sikorsky has made significant investments in manpower training, tooling and machinery to increase the number of aircraft built and delivered year after year. In total, Sikorsky has delivered five operational CH-53K King Stallion heavy-lift helicopters to the US Marine Corps in Jacksonville, North Carolina, with four more expected to be delivered this year.
The CH-53K program operated by the U.S. Marine Corps entered initial operational testing and evaluation in 2021 and is expected to be completed in 2022. Sikorsky has a solid foundation to support the CH-53K, as the company already provides the United States Marines with predictive maintenance on the older CH-53E using the common fleet operating environment enabling the transition from reactive to predictive maintenance.
The CH-53K aircraft is equipped with an integrated vehicle health management system, which will transition U.S. Marines from fixed-interval maintenance to condition-based maintenance, resulting in reduced hours maintenance costs, lower life cycle costs and better aircraft readiness.
Lockheed Martin is working with the US Navy on a performance-based logistics contract that extends from the CH-53E to add the CH-53K with a contract award expected this year.