The Naval Air Systems Command awarded Lockheed Martin’s Sikorsky [LMT] a $372 million modification to produce and deliver four low-rate initial production Lot 6 CH-53K King Stallion helicopters for Israel.
The contract also includes associated programmatic and logistical support for the Israeli government.
In December, the Israeli Air Force signed a letter of Acceptance (LoA) with the U.S. to procure the King Stallion to replace the legacy CH-53D Yasur fleet that has been operating for about 50 years. The LoA said the initial CH-53K deliveries are expected in 2025 (Defense Daily, Jan. 4, 2022).
Last summer,, the U.S. State Department approved a potential $3.4 billion Foreign Military Sale of up to 18 King Stallion helicopters to Israel (Defense Daily, July 30, 2021).
Last year, Sikorsky president Paul Lemmo said the company was looking at Germany possibly becoming the second international customer of CH-53K after Israel, with a decision expected in 2022. The company plans to sell at least 300 aircraft when combining total U.S. and international sales. The U.S. Marine Corps currently has 200 CH-53Ks planned in its program of record (Defense Daily, Oct. 15, 2021).
Work under this current mod is expected to occur largely in various U.S. locations and be finished by November 2025.
The full $372 million of funds in Foreign Military Sales were obligated at the time of award, with none expiring this fiscal year.