CH-53K: The U.S. Marines’ HLR Helicopter Program

CH-53K Concept

(click to view full)

September 22/23: AI Gearbox Sikorsky Aircraft won a $23.5 million deal under previously awarded basic ordering agreement N00383-20-G-X901 for the procurement of six AI gearbox assemblies and six input module gearboxes in support of the CH-53K aircraft. All work will be performed in Stratford, Connecticut. This contract contains no options and work is expected to be completed by March 2029. Annual working capital funds (Navy) in the amount of $17,617,595 will be obligated at the time of award, and funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.











For more on this and other stories, please consider purchasing a membership.
If you are already a subscriber, login to your account.
CH-53K concept (click to view full) The U.S. Marines have a problem. They rely on their CH-53E Super Stallion medium-heavy lift helicopters to move troops, vehicles, and supplies off of their ships. But the helicopters are wearing out. Fast. The pace demanded by the Global War on Terror is relentless, and usage rates are 3 times normal. Attrition is taking its toll. Over the past few years, CH-53s have been recalled from “boneyard” storage at Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson, AZ, in order to maintain fleet numbers in the face of recent losses and forced retirements. Now, there are no flyable spares left. Enter the Heavy Lift Replacement (HLR) program, now known as the CH-53K. It aims to offer notable performance improvements over the CH-53E, in a similar airframe. The question is whether its service entry delay to 2018-2019 will come too late to offset a serious decline in Marine aviation. The HLR Program Lifts Off [youtube:v=k_pAe8Gvua8] Sikorksy on HLR, 2011 The $25.5 billion, 200-helicopter CH-53K program will define the long-term future of the US Marine Corps’ medium-heavy lift capabilities – and may be needed to save Marine aviation in the medium term. On average, existing CH-53E aircraft are more than […]

One Source: Hundreds of programs; Thousands of links, photos, and analyses

DII brings a complete collection of articles with original reporting and research, and expert analyses of events to your desktop – no need for multiple modules, or complex subscriptions. All supporting documents, links, & appendices accompany each article.


  • Save time
  • Eliminate your blind spots
  • Get the big picture, quickly
  • Keep up with the important facts
  • Stay on top of your projects or your competitors


  • Coverage of procurement and doctrine issues
  • Timeline of past and future program events
  • Comprehensive links to other useful resources