First Production Contract Awarded for CH-53K King Stallion

September 3, 2017

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Molly Hampton)

The Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) awarded a sole source, Fixed Price Incentive Firm, Firm Fixed Price, Cost-Plus-Fixed-Fee contract  to Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., a Lockheed Martin company, for the Lot 1 Low Rate Initial Production of the CH-53K King Stallion, valued at $303,974,406.

The contract action provides the funds for two CH-53K helicopters along with engineering and integrated logistics support, spares, and peculiar support equipment (i.e., unique tools and support equipment specific to the CH-53K).

“I am proud of what the team has negotiated to bring this remarkable and unrivaled helicopter one step closer to the fleet,” said Col Hank Vanderborght, program manager for NAVAIR’s Heavy Lift Helicopters program, PMA-261.

The contract award follows the spring Milestone C decision, approving the Navy’s request for the CH-53K program to enter into the Production and Deployment phase.

“This contract will benefit our Marine Corps’ ‘heavy lifters’ for decades to come,” said Vanderborght. “Future Marines, not even born yet, will be flying this helicopter well into the future.”

Initial deliveries from Lot 1 are expected to begin in 2020. This contract does not include engines; engines will be procured as Government Furnished Equipment via a separate contract with General Electric.

The CH-53K is a new-build helicopter that evolved from the design of its predecessor, the CH-53E Super Stallion. Improvements with the King Stallion include increased operational capability, interoperability, reliability, maintainability, survivability and decreased cost of ownership. The U.S. Marine Corps intends to stand-up eight active duty squadrons, one training squadron and one reserve squadron to support operational requirements. The DOD’s program of record remains at 200 aircraft, a requirement validated by the Joint Requirements Oversight Council (JROC).

Currently, there are four Engineering Development and Manufacturing Model aircraft in test and one Ground Test Vehicle, logging more than 500 cumulative flight hours. Initial operational capability remains on pace for 2019 and is defined as having four aircraft, with combat-ready crews logistically prepared to deploy.

PMA-261 manages the cradle-to-grave procurement, development, support, fielding and disposal of the of the entire H-53 helicopter portfolio.

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Molly Hampton)