Sikorsky wins $303 mn order for two LRIP CH-53K helicopters production

World Defense & Security Industry News - Sikorsky
Sikorsky wins $303 mn order for two LRIP CH-53K helicopters production
Sikorsky has been awarded a $303 million contract for Lot I low-rate initial production of two CH-53K King Stallion Heavy Lift helicopters, associated aircraft and programmatic support, logistics support, peculiar support equipment, and spares, the US DoD announced on Aug. 31 on its website.
The CH-53K King Stallion lands after a test flight in West Palm Beach, Fla. on March 22, 2017
(Credit: Lance Cpl. Molly Hampton/Office of Marine Corps Communication) 
"Work will be performed in Stratford, Connecticut, and is expected to be completed in December 2021. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity," the US DoD said.

In April, the CH-53K King Stallion Program successfully passed its Defense Acquisition Board (DAB) and achieved a Milestone C decision that approves funding for low rate initial production.

The CH-53K provides unmatched heavy lift capability with three times the lift of the CH-53E that it replaces. With the increased payload capability and a 12-inch wider internal cabin compared to the predecessor CH-53E, the CH-53K's increased payload capability can take the form of a variety of relevant payloads ranging from multiple U.S. Air Force standard 463L pallets to an internally loaded High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) or a European Fennek armored personnel carrier. In addition, the CH-53K can carry up to three independent external loads at once providing incredible mission flexibility and system efficiency.

The CH-53K offers enhanced safety features for the warfighter. Safety is enhanced with full authority fly-by-wire flight controls and mission management that reduces pilot workload and enables the crew to focus on mission execution because the CH-53K all but "flies itself." Features include advanced stability augmentation, flight control modes that include attitude command-velocity hold, automated approach to a stabilized hover, position hold and precision tasks in degraded visual environments, and tactile cueing that all permit the pilot to confidently focus on the mission at hand.

Further, the CH-53K has improved reliability and maintainability that exceeds 89 percent mission reliability with a smaller shipboard logistics footprint than the legacy CH-53E.

The U.S. Department of Defense's Program of Record remains at 200 CH-53K aircraft. The first six of the 200 Program of Record aircraft are under contract and scheduled to start delivery next year to the Marine Corps. Two additional aircraft, the first low rate initial production aircraft, are under long lead procurement for parts and materials, with deliveries scheduled to start in 2020. The Marine Corps intends to stand up eight active duty squadrons, one training squadron, and one reserve squadron to support operational requirements.