U.S. Department of Defense Cites Design Flaws with Sikorsky’s Marine Corps Helicopter (excerpt)
(Source: CT Insider; posted Feb. 10, 2020)
By Alexander Soule
After Sikorsky fixed over 100 flaws in the CH-53K helicopter, the US Navy has found major problems, including “low reliability” of the main rotor gearbox, and has reportedly decided to send Sikorsky back to the drawing board. (Sikorsky photo)
After more than 1,500 hours of flight-testing last year, the U.S. Department of Defense sent Sikorsky Aircraft engineers back to the drawing board on multiple elements of a new helicopter for the Marine Corps, one of a few programs on which the Stratford manufacturer is counting on for a lift after several years of declining sales.

The Marine Corps wants more than 200 CH-53K King Stallion helicopters to replace its aging fleet of CH-53E Super Stallion aircraft, with the King Stallion designed to carry triple the payload at greater altitudes and ranges. If a full allotment of aircraft is delivered to the Marines, the total contract could top $25 billion. On Monday, the Pentagon released a proposed budget that would authorize $1.5 billion to purchase seven CH-53K helicopters in the coming fiscal year.

The King Stallion is one of three major programs in Sikorsky’s immediate pipeline, along with a new fleet of presidential transport helicopters for the White House and a new aircraft for the U.S. Air Force to rescue pilots downed behind enemy lines, as well as humanitarian missions during disasters. (end of excerpt)


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