Magellan Aerospace Corporation (“Magellan”) announced a contract award from Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation (“Sikorsky”), a Lockheed Martin Company for low rate initial production (LRIP) of assemblies to support the production of the CH-53K® LRIP configuration helicopter. The multi-year, multi-million dollar agreement will be delivered from Magellan’s New York facility commencing in 2023. The contract consists of hard metal, machined deliverables for the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) for the production of the CH-53K King Stallion, the next generation heavy-lift helicopter being produced to replace the CH-53E Super Stallion.
Commenting on the contract, Mr. Phillip C. Underwood, President and CEO of Magellan Aerospace Corporation said, “We are delighted with this significant new contract award and the opportunity to solidify the relationship between Sikorsky and Magellan. This agreement is an important expression of confidence in our operational performance and the expertise in precision hard metal machining at our New York facility.”
The Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion (Sikorsky S-95) is a heavy-lift cargo helicopter designed and produced by Sikorsky Aircraft. The King Stallion is an evolution of the long running CH-53 series of helicopters which have been in continuous service since 1966, and features three uprated 7,500 shp (5,590 kW) engines, new composite rotor blades, and a wider aircraft cabin than its predecessors. It is the largest and heaviest helicopter in the U.S. military. The United States Marine Corps plans to receive 200 helicopters at a total cost of $25 billion. Israel has also reportedly ordered the type; other potential export customers include Japan and Germany.
The CH-53K King Stallion is being a general redesign of the preceding CH-53E, the main improvements being the new engines and cockpit layout. It has over twice the lift capacity and radius of action of the CH-53E. Ground Test Vehicle (GTV) testing started in April 2014; flight testing began with the maiden flight on 27 October 2015. In May 2018, the first CH-53K was delivered to the Marine Corps. On 22 April 2022, it was declared to have passed initial operational capability. The CH-53K achieved initial operating capability On 22 April 2022 and is on track to deploy to the fleet in 2024. The Marine Corps plans to deploy the first CH-53K Marine Expeditionary Unit detachment in fiscal year 2024.