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April 27, 2022

Marines give green light to new Sikorsky heavy-lift chopper

PHOTO | CONTRIBUTED Sikorsky's CH-53K King Stallion heavy-lift helicopter in action.

Sikorsky’s new heavy-lift helicopter got the green light from the U.S. Marine Corps this week to begin operations across the globe, parent company Lockheed Martin announced on Monday.

The CH-53K King Stallion, in production at Sikorsky’s manufacturing facility in Stratford, earned its Initial Operational Capability (IOC) designation from the Marines for use in transporting troops and equipment.

The chopper is designed for high altitudes and challenging environments and will be particularly useful in the Indo-Pacific region, Sikorsky President Paul Lemmo said.

“Sikorsky and our nationwide CH-53K supply chain, including dozens of small businesses, are committed to delivering aircraft that can adapt to future missions and are reliable, sustainable and relevant for decades to come,” Lemmo said. 

Seven of the helicopters are being built currently in Stratford, with three on schedule to be delivered to the Marine Corps this year, according to a company statement. 

The Marine Corps awarded Lockheed Martin a contract to build nine more CH-53Ks in February, to be delivered starting in 2025.

The Israeli military has also contracted for four CH-53K helicopters under a U.S. Navy Foreign Military Sales agreement.

Each chopper costs $90-$100 million apiece and Sikorsky expects to build 200 of them.

Contact Liese Klein at

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