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December 27, 2022

Sikorsky ramps up production of CH-53K helicopter

Image | Contributed Sikorsky employees at work on the CH-53K King Stallion helicopter at the Stratford plant.

Stratford-based Sikorsky will ramp up manufacturing of the CH-53K King Stallion helicopter after the U.S. Navy green-lighted full production, the company announced Tuesday. 

The Navy declaration clears the way for the production of 20 of the heavy-lift helicopters per year in coming years at the Sikorsky plant, a division of Lockheed Martin. The order also secures the CH-53K domestic supply chain, Sikorsky officials said.

Sikorsky delivered a CH-53K “King Stallion” helicopter in July, the first aircraft built as part of a 2019 contract with the U.S. Marine Corps. Each King Stallion costs about $100 million to build and can lift 36,000 pounds, fly as high as 16,000 feet and transport up to 32 troops or 24 medevac patients at a time.

Bill Falk, director of the Sikorsky CH-53K program, said, “Ramping up production of the most technologically advanced helicopter in the world allows the U.S. Marine Corps to build out its CH-53K King Stallion fleet and support mission success.”

“This full-rate production decision instills confidence in the diverse network of more than 200 CH‑53K suppliers across 34 states,” Falk added. 

The Navy's order comes as Sikorsky found out earlier this month it had lost out on a $1.3 billion bid to replace the U.S. Army's Black Hawk helicopter to Texas-based Textron.

Politicians and industry officials warned of disruption to the state's aerospace sector due to Sikorsky's loss of the Army bid.

Contact Liese Klein at

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