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Sikorsky completes first Connecticut-built heavy-lift helicopter for US Marine Corps

The first Connecticut-built heavy-lift helicopter – which can withstand longer-range missions in poor environments – is now in the hands of the U.S. Marine Corps.

Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, celebrated the CH-53K heavy-lift helicopter’s completion at its Stratford, Connecticut, facility last week.  

Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, celebrated the first Connecticut built CH-53K helicopter in a ceremony at its Stratford, CT facility. 

Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, celebrated the first Connecticut built CH-53K helicopter in a ceremony at its Stratford, CT facility. 
(Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company)

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The King Stallion, which was created using “advanced technologies such as manufacturing simulation and 3D laser inspection technology” is the first all-digitally designed helicopter, according to Sikorsky President Paul Lemmo.

The Marine Corps will utilize the aircraft to transport armored vehicles, equipment and personnel “to support distributed operations deep inland from a sea-based center of operations,” according to Sikorsky. 

CH-53K, K4 Flt 205 and K5 Flt 42, fly in formation from NAS Patuxent River, MD on Jana 9, 2020.

CH-53K, K4 Flt 205 and K5 Flt 42, fly in formation from NAS Patuxent River, MD on Jana 9, 2020.
(Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company. )

What’s more, the helicopter can maneuver within low visibility environments and deploy Marines faster and effectively, according to Deputy Commandant for Aviation Lt. Gen. Mark R. Wise. 

“The CH-53K  helicopter provides advanced capabilities allowing Marines to get anywhere in the world where the mission requires heavy-lift logistics support,” said Wise. 

It will be stationed at Marine Corps Aviation Station New River in Jacksonville, North Carolina, in preparation for its first deployment in 2024, Lemmo said. 

The helicopter is part of a 200 aircraft program of record for the Marine Corps and one of more than 30 aircraft on contract. There are an additional nine helicopters on contract for long-lead parts, according to Sikorsky. 

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