Sikorsky awarded contract for initial production of seven Lot III CH-53K King Stallion helicopters
On 13 February the US Department of Defence awarded Sikorsky a $126.5million contract for the initial production of seven Lot III CH-53K King Stallion helicopter and integrated avionics systems for the US Marine Corps. This new contract is a modification of a previously awarded fixed-price-incentive-firm target, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract, and it provides for a long lead items in support for low rate initial production the seven helicopters.
‘Long lead items’ refers to the equipment, product or system identified at the earliest stages of the project as being difficult or time-consuming to obtain, and therefore likely to delay the project. As such, they are funded early in the aircraft design process to ensure that overall production remains on schedule.
The CH-53K King Stallion is a large heavy-lift cargo helicopter designed to replace the Marine Corps fleet of CH-53E heavy-lift helicopters, which help move Marines and their equipment from ships offshore onto attack beaches. To this end, it will be fitted with new engines as well as benefit from a new cockpit layout, and will have more than twice the lift capacity and combat radius of the CH-53E.
Work on the CH-53K will be performed in Stratford, Connecticut, with a completion scheduled for January 2019.