Spirit AeroSystems Starts Assembling USMC King Stallion SDTA 5

The Sikorsky CH-53 King Stallion lifts a 27,000 pound external load. (PRNewsFoto/Lockheed Martin)

The Sikorsky CH-53 King Stallion lifts a 27,000 pound external load. Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin

Spirit AeroSystems has started to assemble the fifth system demonstration test article (SDTA) Sikorsky CH-53K, Spirit said. Major assembly on the test article is scheduled to begin in September.

The company is tasked with the assembly of the entire cockpit and cabin, and delivering the complete fuselage to Sikorsky. Assembly is taking place at Spirit’s facility in Wichita, Kansas. The heavy-lift King Stallion is designated for the U.S. Marine Corps.

“We are excited to start on the fifth SDTA CH-53K King Stallion and support a significant upgrade for the warfighter,” said Tony Kondrotis, Spirit’s VP of defense programs. “The lightweight composite structures we are providing to Sikorsky will give the Marine Corps a much needed additional capability. We look forward to continuing to deliver on this program for many years to come.”

The company said it has received or manufactured almost 1,500 parts to support assembly of the next helicopter. Responsible also for a separately attached tail section, the structures support unrefueled mission carrying 27,000 pounds over 110 nm in high/hot conditions, Spirit said.

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