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The composite-skinned fuselage will enable prime contractor Sikorsky to begin assembling the third of four SDTA aircraft to further solidify the final production configuration of the CH-53K aircraft for the U.S. Marine Corps.

Spirit delivers third SDTA fuselage to Sikorsky for production representative CH-53K helicopter

Spirit AeroSystems, Inc. today announced it has successfully delivered to Sikorsky the third fuselage section for the CH-53K 'King Stallion' heavy lift helicopter program's System Demonstration and Test Article (SDTA) contract. Consisting of an integrated cockpit and cabin structure with a separately attached tail section, the composite-skinned fuselage will enable prime contractor Sikorsky to begin assembling the third of four SDTA aircraft to further solidify the final production configuration of the CH-53K aircraft for the U.S. Marine Corps. 

"Spirit AeroSystems is pleased to be a major supplier to a new generation, heavy-lift helicopter capability for the Marine Corps," said Phil Anderson, Spirit senior vice president of Defense Programs. "The strong, lightweight composite structures we are providing to Sikorsky will in turn give the Marine Corps a much needed increase in payload capability."

Sikorsky came under contract to the U.S. Navy in 2013 to assemble and deliver the four SDTA aircraft by 2017 in support of the Marine Corps operational evaluation of the CH-53K platform. Spirit is on contract to deliver to Sikorsky the final SDTA fuselage unit later this year.

The U.S. Marine Corps will employ the four SDTA aircraft to verify the helicopter's design capability to carry 27,000 pounds over 110 nautical miles under "high hot" ambient conditions, tripling the external load carrying capacity of the current CH-53E SUPER STALLION™ helicopter.

The U.S. Navy has included the four SDTA helicopters within the existing $3.5 billion System Development and Demonstration (SDD) contract initially awarded to Sikorsky in April 2006.

From 2011 to 2012 as part of the SDD contract, Spirit successfully delivered to Sikorsky seven fuselage sections from its Wichita, Kan., facility. Sikorsky has applied those fuselage sections to two non-flying test articles, one ground test vehicle, and four flight test aircraft.

"The CH-53K fuselage is one of the most complex composite structures ever built by Spirit," said Chris Falo, Spirit's CH-53K program director. "Spirit's design and build expertise in large complex composite structures helps us deliver this product to our customer on time and with the highest quality possible."

The Marine Corps intends to order 200 CH-53K production aircraft (including the four SDTA aircraft), and to stand up eight active duty, one reserve and one training squadron to support the Marine Corps' operational requirements.

Press release issued by Spirit AeroSystems, Inc. on June 19, 2015

 

 Contact details from our directory:
Spirit AeroSystems, Inc. Wing Flaps, Empennages, Nacelles, Wings, Aircraft Control Surfaces, Aircraft Structural Components, Thrust Reversers, Engine Pylons, Fuselage Sections, Engine Inlets, Wing Spoilers, Fairings, Machining Services

 

 Related aircraft programs:
Sikorsky CH-53

 

 Related directory sectors:
Airframe Assemblies

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