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EDO has been selected by Sikorsky to design and fabricate composite airframe assemblies for the U.S. Marine Corps CH-53K helicopter program.
The contract includes design and development, which is currently underway and will continue through 2012. This development contract is expected to lead to production of 156 CH-53K aircraft to replace the CH-53E SUPER STALLION helicopters currently in the Marine Corps’ inventory.
The new CH-53K heavy-lift helicopter will double the payload of the current CH-53E Super Stallion, to 27,000 pounds over 110 nautical miles. Advanced composite structures that are far stronger and lighter than metal components are key to achieving this objective. EDO will design the aircraft’s composite tail-rotor pylon and sponsons.
“Our ability to both engineer and fabricate advanced composite structures was a significant factor in winning this strategically important contract,” said James M. Smith, EDO’s chief executive officer. “We have been making substantial investments in the sophisticated equipment needed to produce these high-performance products.”
The design and final assembly will be centred in North Amityville, N.Y. The composite fabrication will be conducted predominantly in Salt Lake City, Utah with select resin transfer moulded (RTM) parts fabricated in Walpole, Mass.
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