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Sikorsky CH-53K Helicopter Gets Clearance for Full-Rate Production

A heavy-lift helicopter that Lockheed Martin’s (NYSE: LMT) Sikorsky subsidiary built for the U.S. Marine Corps has transitioned to the full-rate production phase.

Frederick Stefany, acting assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition, issued the decision for the CH-53K King Stallion aircraft following the evaluation of results of the initial operational test and evaluation, live fire tests, affordability analyses and production readiness reviews, Naval Air Systems Command said Friday.

The entry into FRP will enable the Marine Corps to ramp up its procurement of CH-53K, which is expected to reach full operational capability in fiscal year 2029.

NAVAIR’s H-53 Heavy Lift Program Office, PMA-261, oversees procurement, development, deployment, support and disposal activities for the service’s H-53 helicopters.

In April, the CH-53K program reached the initial operational capability designation. The aircraft received Milestone C approval in 2017, marking the program’s entry into low-rate initial production.

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