The $27 billion program will help the Marine Corps for its field logistics.
Lockheed Martin Corp has received approval from the Pentagon to begin the production of 200 new heavy cargo helicopters for the U.S. Marines, said the U.S. Department of Defence.
As per an official from the DoD, the long-expected award for the CH-53K King Stallion will, on average, cost in the range of $87 million to $105 million, including spare parts and service contracts.
Getting the approval for the $27 billion program, which includes more than $6 billion in research and development costs, is a major milestone for Lockheed Martin Corp.
The CH-53K King Stallion helicopter has been developed by Lockheed’s Sikorsky. The new helicopter, which can lift 36,000 pounds, will eventually replace the CH-53E Super Stallion, which has so far been the backbone of the U.S. Marines since the mid-1980s for field logistics.
As per the DoD, four helicopters are scheduled for delivery by next year, with another two to follow.
As per a statement by the DoD, the Marine Corps intends to have eight active duty squadrons, one reserve squadron and one training squadron.