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Marines Up Order for New Heavy Lifter

By Jim McKenna | June 18, 2007

The U.S. Marine Corps’ now plans to order nearly 50 percent more CH-53K heavy-lift successors to its CH-53Es, according to Jeff Pino, president of Sikorsky Aircraft. Sikorsky builds the latter and is developing the former. At the Paris Air Show, Pino said, Marine leaders have told the company “the program of record for the CH-53K is now 227.” The Marines originally won approval for a program to develop and procure 156 to replace a shrinking fleet of fewer than CH-53E. Pino said he’s told Sikorsky planners to assume a production run of 300 aircraft. The Marines briefed top officers May 18 on a plan to boost its light-attack and heavy-lift helicopter fleets by 50 percent each.

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