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)