Air Industries Group subsidiary, Sterling Engineering, has been awarded a Long-Term Agreement (LTA) to deliver ‘Chaff Pods’ for the new CH-53K heavy lift helicopter. Based on existing orders for the aircraft, the LTA should have a minimum value in excess of $5.2 million.
“This LTA award is important for a number of reasons. Air Industries has long been a supplier for Black Hawk helicopters, this award for the new CH-53K helicopter brings our backlog to near parity between these two products,” said Mr. Lou Melluzzo, CEO of Air Industries.
“In the past, our Long Island subsidiaries performed almost all of our rotorcraft work. This award to our Sterling Engineering subsidiary in Connecticut evidences our success in having our customers view Air Industries as one Company with many capabilities.
“This award also furthers our goal of transitioning Sterling’s business from predominately ‘shop-assist’ to make-complete product produced under long-term agreements.”
The CH-53K is a sea-based, long range, heavy-lift helicopter providing three times the lift capability of its predecessor and exceeding all other U.S. Department of Defense rotary wing-platforms.
The primary mission of the aircraft is to support the U.S. Marine Corps in transporting personnel and equipment from naval ships to land in the Indo-Pacific Theater. Several allied militaries, notably Germany and Israel, are either considering or have committed to purchasing the aircraft.
With its development phase over, the Full-Rate Production (FRP) phase of the CH-53K is now beginning. Production of the helicopter is forecast to more than double from four aircraft in 2022 to nine in 2023, and then increase to 15 aircraft in 2026. It is expected that the CH-53K will remain in production through 2032 and beyond.