$2.7 billion contract is the largest for the King Stallion™ aircraft
The U.S. Navy has awarded Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company (NYSE: LMT), a significant $2.7 billion contract to construct and deliver an additional 35 CH-53K® helicopters, marking the largest procurement to date for this versatile multi-mission aircraft.
Paul Lemmo, President of Sikorsky, stated, “This contract award for 35 CH-53K helicopters stabilizes Sikorsky’s nationwide supply base, creates additional production efficiencies, and provides the U.S. Marine Corps with transformative 21st-century technologies. Our long-standing partnership led to this best value contract award providing the capability and readiness the Marines need.”
The contract encompasses 12 U.S. Marine Corps Lot 7 aircraft, 15 U.S. Marine Corps Lot 8 aircraft, and eight aircraft for Israel. The delivery of these helicopters is set to commence in 2026.
This agreement represents a significant step forward for Sikorsky and the U.S. Navy, laying the groundwork for a multi-year arrangement and the realization of the 200 aircraft Marine Corps Program of Record.
Moreover, the contract encompasses eight additional CH-53K helicopters destined for the Israeli Air Force, building upon the initial production announcement in 2022 for the first four aircraft under a U.S. Navy Foreign Military Sales (FMS) agreement.
The CH-53K is designed for diverse missions, supporting Israeli special operations programs while providing the Israeli Defense Forces with a versatile platform that offers speed, safety, survivability, and substantial weight capability. Its applications range from troop and cargo transport to search and rescue operations.
In December 2022, the U.S Navy declared Full Rate Production for the CH-53K program, signifying an anticipated increase in production to over 20 helicopters annually in the coming years. Sikorsky is actively procuring crucial materials to facilitate the ramp-up of CH-53K production in its digital factory.
Dana Fiatarone, Vice President of Sikorsky Marine Corps Systems, emphasized the use of digital tools to enhance efficiency in building these helicopters, as they roll off the production line into the hands of the Marines.
The CH-53K is renowned for its heavy-lift capabilities, exceeding all other U.S. Department of Defense rotary wing aircraft. As the only heavy-lift helicopter slated for production through 2032 and beyond, the CH-53K can carry a 27,000-pound external load over 110 nautical miles in high/hot conditions, a feat unmatched by the legacy CH-53E aircraft.
Designed for various operations, including expeditionary assault transport, humanitarian relief, firefighting, and search and rescue, the CH-53K King Stallion plays a vital role in enhancing the capabilities of the U.S. Navy and its allied forces.