Under a US Navy foreign military sales agreement, Lockheed Martin will produce 12 CH-53K heavy-lift helicopters for Israel.
This production announcement is for the first four of 12 aircraft destined for Israel and follows a contract to produce nine more aircraft for the US Marine Corps. The letter of offer and acceptance signed between the US government and Israel indicates that the first deliveries of the base aircraft are scheduled for 2025.
The CH-53K helicopters will replace the Israeli Air Force‘s (IAF) fleet of modified CH-53D Yasur helicopters, which have been part of Israel’s inventory for more than 50 years. The all-new CH-53K offers state-of-the-art modern capabilities that improve survivability, safety and reduced crew workload over its predecessor, making it the ideal solution for the demanding mission of the ‘IAF. Additionally, with a reduced support equipment footprint compared to the existing fleet, the CH-53K will result in lower operating costs.
“We draw on decades of experience and partnership in supporting the CH-53E for the Marine Corps and the CH53D for the IAF. Sikorsky has a deep understanding of the global heavy haul mission enabling our team and proven supply chain to deliver tailored solutions resulting in more efficient missions,” said Paul Lemmo, President of Sikorsky. “We are committed to providing training and sustainment support to ensure a smooth entry into service for the IAF.”
The aircraft will be manufactured at Sikorsky’s headquarters in Stratford, Connecticut, leveraging the company’s advanced technology and digital construction processes.