Sikorsky hands over new CH-53K helicopter to US Marine Corps

Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, has delivered new low-rate initial production (LRIP) CH-53K helicopter ahead of contract schedule to the US Marine Corps.

Lockheed Martin

This aircraft, built in Sikorsky’s digital factory, is the first CH-53K from the Lot 2 LRIP contract awarded by the US Navy in 2019, and the seventh overall delivered to the fleet.  

Photo: Lockheed Martin

The CH‑53K’s heavy-lift capabilities exceed all other US Department of Defense rotary wing platforms and are the only heavy-lift helicopter that will remain in production through 2032 and beyond, according to the company.

This vessel will join the six in operation at Marine Corps Air Station New River in Jacksonville, North Carolina. 

This helicopter was born in a digital environment, and now its digital thread connects design, manufacturing, training, and sustainment teams.

This network, which includes everything from work instructions to maintenance manuals, is based on the helicopter’s single, continuous data thread that stays consistent from initial design all the way through sustainment. 

The US Marines recently declared initial operational capability (IOC) and have been flying and supporting the CH-53K in the fleet environment demonstrating the aircraft is on track to deploy on schedule in 2024, as stated by Sikorsky. 

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Earlier this year Sikorsky secured a contract to build 12 CH-53K heavy lift helicopters for Israel under a US Navy Foreign Military Sales (FMS) agreement. The first deliveries of the baseline aircraft are planned for 2025.