Lockheed said Thursday the nine helicopters are part of the Marine Corps’ 200 program of record aircraft and are expected to be delivered starting in 2025.
CH-53K King Stallion is a heavy-lift cargo helicopter designed to transport U.S. Marine Corps personnel, armored vehicles and equipment from a naval ship to the shore or a high terrain area. The aircraft features an Integrated Vehicle Health Management System, which will enable the service to reduce maintenance hours and increase aircraft readiness by transitioning from fixed-interval to on-condition maintenance.
Sikorsky will build the aircraft at its Stratford, Connecticut-based headquarters, where seven King Stallion aircraft are being manufactured. The facility is also home to 47 additional aircraft that are in various production phases.
The Lockheed company has handed over five operational CH-53K helicopters to the Marines in Jacksonville, North Carolina, with plans to deliver four more aircraft in 2022.
Initial operational test and evaluation for the Marine Corps’ CH-53K program started in 2021 and is set to be completed in 2022.