Pentagon gives the green light to Lockheed Martin for 200 helicopters that cost as much as F-35s

flightdeck takeoff CH-53

via US Navy


April 4 (Reuters) - Lockheed Martin Corp received Pentagon approval on Tuesday to begin production of CH-53K King Stallion helicopter for the U.S. marines, the Department of Defense said on Tuesday.

The award includes 200 helicopters, each costing $87 million on average and $105 million including spare parts and certain service contracts, a Defense Department official had told Reuters last week.

The $27 billion program also includes more than $6 billion in research and development costs.

The new helicopter, developed by Lockheed's Sikorsky helicopter business, can lift 36,000 pounds and would replace the CH-53E Super Stallion, which has operated as the backbone of field logistics for the U.S. Marines since the mid-1980s.

(Reporting by Komal Khettry in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)

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