Southern Manufacturing

Spirit Wins Contract to Build Composite Structure for CH-53K Heavy-Lift Helicopter

13 May 2007

Spirit AeroSystems has won a 7 year contract from Sikorsky Aircraft, worth in excess of $150 million, to supply major structural components for the CH-53K heavy lift helicopter for the United States Marine Corps.

Under the Systems Development and Demonstration (SDD) phase of the contract, Spirit will design, produce and join the helicopter's composite cockpit and cabin.

""We have more than 75 years of experience designing and building fuselages and cockpits for some of the best-selling commercial airplanes of all time. We are extremely excited to be able to build on that expertise to produce the cockpit and cabin for the CH-53K,"" said Richard ""Buck"" Buchanan, Vice President -- General Manager of Spirit's Fuselage Structures and Systems business unit.

The CH-53K is being developed to meet the future requirements for the U.S. Marine Corps heavy lift capabilities, currently carried out by a fleet of CH-53E helicopters. Sikorsky announced that the SDD contract could lead to the production of 156 CH-53K aircraft to replace roughly an equal number of CH-53E helicopters. Spirit won the contract through a competitive bid process.

Spirit will begin work on the SDD phase of the program in 2007. Under the contract, Spirit will design and produce seven test articles, four of which will undergo flight testing. The cockpit and cabin work will be performed at Spirit's Wichita, Kan. facility.

Spirit designs and builds the all-composite forward fuselage for the Boeing 787, in addition to pylon and wing structures for the new airplane.

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