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Lockheed Martin to produce and deliver 6 more CH-53K helicopters to US Navy


According to a contract released by the U.S. DoD (Department of Defense) on October 26, 2020, Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., a Lockheed Martin Company, Stratford, Connecticut, is awarded a $550,372,323 modification contract for Lot IV low rate initial production and delivery of six CH-53K helicopters and associated and associated aircraft, programmatic and logistics support, rate tooling and physical configuration audits.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 A CH-53K King Stallion helicopter in a live demonstration at the 2018 Berlin Air Show. (Picture source U.S. DoD)


The CH-53K helicopter has been designed and built to the exacting standards of the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) and will serve as its critical land and sea based logistics connector. The new heavy lifter will allow the U.S. Marine Corps and international militaries to move troops and equipment from ship to shore, and to higher altitude terrain, more quickly and effectively than ever before. The USMC plans to acquire 200 CH-53K helicopters.

In August 2020, Navy Recognition has published news announcing crucial series of sea trials of the new CH-53K King Stallion during two weeks, completing 364 landings and takeoffs, day and night, from all nine deck spots and in various wind conditions to demonstrate its versatility and ability to operate from a ship on deployment.

The CH-53K is the United States Marine Corps’ (USMC) heavy lift replacement for the CH-53E. The most powerful helicopter in the Department of Defense, the CH-53K is a new-build helicopter that will expand the fleet’s ability to move more material, more rapidly throughout the area of responsibility using proven and mature technologies.

The CH-53K is a general redesign of the CH-53E. The main improvements are new engines and cockpit layout. The CH-53K will have over twice the lift capacity and radius of action of the CH-53E, and a wider cargo hold to allow it to carry a Humvee internally. The CH-53K will feature new stubby composite sponsons to cut overall width, resulting in a narrower footprint for shipboard operations. It will also be equipped with a new composite rotor blade system, with technology similar to that found on the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter. The CH-53K will use the General Electric GE38-1B engine, selected over the Pratt and Whitney Canada PW150 and a variant of the Rolls-Royce AE 1107C-Liberty used on the V-22 Osprey.

The cabin of the CHJ-53K measures 9.1 m in length, 2.7 m in width, and 2 m in height. The cabin area and volume will be 24.6 m² and 9.1 m³ respectively. It will have a maximum cruise speed of 315 km/h and a maximum range of 840 km.