Pentagon likely to award Lockheed Martin helicopter manufacturing contract worth $27 billion

The production of the CH-53K King Stallion helicopters will be carried out by Sikorsky, the company it acquired from United Technologies Corp. This is a major milestone for the company.

An official from the U.S. Department of Defence has stated, the likelihood of Lockheed Martin Corp receiving the approval for commencing the production of 200 new heavy cargo helicopters for the U.S. Marines is high.

The long-expected awarding of contract to Lockheed Martin for the CH-53K King Stallion helicopters is likely to cost the DoD $87 million each with an additional $105 million for spare parts and service contracts, said Colonel Hank Vanderborght, who heads the program for the Pentagon.

The $27 billion program also includes investments of nearly $6 billion in research and development costs.

The CH-53K King Stallion helicopters, being developed by Lockheed’s Sikorsky helicopter business, will replace the ageing CH-53E Super Stallion. They can lift 36,000 pounds and will operate as the backbone for field logistics for the U.S. Marines.

The Pentagon’s Defence Acquisition Board is likely to take up the matter for approving the production of the new helicopters on Thursday, said Vanderborght.

Lockheed Martin’s spokesman declined comments.

Getting the approval for commencing the production will be a major milestone for Lockheed Martin.

As per an official from the DoD, the final terms of the production are still being ironed out.

Last week, Marillyn Hewson, Lockheed’s CEO told reporters at the company’s annual media day that its acquisition of Sikorsky from United Technologies Corp for $9 billion will play a significant part in reshaping the company’s future.

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