Sikorsky Awarded $2.7 Billion Navy Contract
The U.S. Navy awarded Stratford-based Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, a $2.77 billion contract to build 35 additional CH-53K helicopters.
The contract is the largest ever for the multi-mission, heavy-lift aircraft.
Under the agreement, Sikorsky will produce 12 U.S. Marine Corps Lot 7 aircraft, 15 U.S. Marine Corps Lot 8 aircraft.
An additional eight aircraft will be delivered to the Israeli Air Force.
Israel previously purchased four aircraft in 2022.
Sikorsky will begin delivering the helicopters in 2026.
“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,” said Sikorsky president Paul Lemmo.
“Our long-standing partnership led to this best value contract award providing the capability and readiness the Marines need.”
Sikorsky has been ramping up production of the CH-53K helicopter, after the Navy declared full rate production for the program in December 2022.
“Our skilled employees are using digital tools to build more efficiently as these helicopters roll off the production line and into the hands of the Marines,” said Sikorsky Marine Corps Systems vice president Dana Fiatarone.
Sikorsky expects to increase production to more than 20 helicopters annually in the coming years.
The Marine Corps is looking for a fleet of 200 of the aircraft.
Previously delivered CH-53K helicopters have already accumulated more than 1,000 flight hours for the Marines.
“This is really the heart of what Sikorsky is going to be doing in the next 10 years or so,” Lemmo said in June during an online Sikorksy business update hosted by CBIA.
The CH-53K King Stallion is designed to move troops and equipment from ship to shore, and to higher altitude terrain.
It can carry a 27,000 pound external load over 110 nautical miles.
That is more than triple the capacity of the CH-53E aircraft it replaces.
Facilities in Stratford and Windsor Locks will perform nearly half of the work on the CH-53K helicopters.
More than 40 of Sikorsky’s suppliers for the CH-53K are located in Connecticut.
“It’s hard to overstress the importance of Sikorsky for Connecticut’s supply chain and the state’s economy overall,” said CBIA president and CEO Chris DiPentima.
“For every one manufacturing job created, Sikorsky supports about four or five other jobs.”
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