Pentagon’s No.1 weapons supplier Lockheed Martin announced that U.S. Marine Corps declared Initial Operational Capability (IOC) for the CH-53K heavy-lift helicopter, validating the platform’s operational readiness to forward deploy Marines and equipment across the globe.
Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company designed and manufactures the CH-53K, which enables the U.S. Marine Corps and international militaries to move troops and equipment from ship to shore, and to higher altitude terrain, more quickly and effectively than ever before.
“This declaration is a vote of confidence from Marine Corps leadership and demonstrates the critical role of the CH-53K, giving forces more range and agility to conduct expeditionary heavy-lift assault transport of armored vehicles, equipment, and personnel. This capability is critical in the Indo-Pacific region and around the globe in support of the joint force and allies,” said Sikorsky President Paul Lemmo. “Sikorsky and our nationwide CH-53K supply chain, including dozens of small businesses, are committed to delivering aircraft that can adapt to future missions and are reliable, sustainable and relevant for decades to come.”
The path to CH-53K IOC included collaboration on Initial Operational Testing & Evaluation among Sikorsky, the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps to develop, test and validate the advanced capabilities of this 21st century aircraft.