The CH-53K King Stallion is a cargo helicopter that has been in development since 2006 and will replace the CH-53-E Super Stallion Fleet. It is designed to be faster and more fuel efficient.
Initial operational test and evaluation of the aircraft began in July in North Carolina and should continue through January or February 2022, Marine Corps Col. Jack Perrin, Program Director for CH-53 helicopters said.
Five lots of 33 total aircraft are on contract with Sikorsky, which is owned by Lockheed Martin. Lot 6, funded in fiscal 2022, will bring the number on order to 42 aircraft. Seven of those aircraft are in various stages of assembly at Sikorsky facilities in Connecticut, according to Bill Falk, the company’s 53K Program Director.