Spirit AeroSystems has received a $60 million contract from Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. to supply major structural cockpit and cabin components for four CH-53K heavy lift helicopters.
The helicopters will be used by the U.S. Marine Corp. to evaluate the aircraft’s mission capabilities in service operating conditions, the company said.
Spirit will begin work on the sections in Wichita this year. Deliveries to Sikorsky’s assembly line in West Palm Beach, Fla., will begin next year.
To date, Spirit has supplied Sikorsky with cockpit and cabin structures for five prototype CH-53K test helicopters and two non-flying test articles valued at $150 million.
The contract with Spirit is part of a $3.5 billion Systems Development and Demonatration contract awarded to Sikorsky in April 2006. The Navy modified the contract in May to include $435 million in funding for four System Demonstration Test Articles aircraft, which Sikorsky plans to deliver to the Navy by April 2017.
“We are pleased to be moving forward with Sikorsky to the next phase of hardware and systems testing,” David Coleal, Spirit executive vice president and general manager, said in a statement. “We thank Sikorsky and the U.S. Navy for their confidence in our ability to design and build fuselages and cockpits that meet the requirements for this important mission.”
Spirit has demonstrated strong performance and reliability as a key supplier o the CH-53H program, Michael Torok, vice president of Sikorsky’s CH-53K program, said in a statement. “We look foward to their continued success.”
The Navy program plans for another 196 CH-53K aircraft to support the Marine Corps’ operational requirements. The Marines plan for initial operating capability in 2019.