(Bridgeport, WV., January 21, 2009) -- Aurora Flight Sciences announced today that it has been selected by Sikorsky Aircraft to manufacture the engine nacelles for the latest-generation heavy-lift military helicopter, the CH-53K that Sikorsky is developing for the U.S. Marine Corps. Sikorsky is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX).
The Engine Nacelles' assembly is one of the major propulsion sections and houses the CH-53K's No. 1 and 3 engines. Made primarily of composite and titanium materials, the Nacelle will be fabricated by Aurora Flight Sciences of West Virginia and shipped to Sikorsky for integration into the U.S. Marine Corps helicopter.
The three-engine CH-53K will be the world's premier heavy-lift helicopter. It is a new design leveraging the lessons learned from almost half a century of manufacturing and operating the earlier CH-53E SUPERSTALLION helicopter.
In April 2006, Sikorsky Aircraft was awarded the System Development and Demonstration (SDD) contract for the CH-53K Heavy Lift Replacement Aircraft Program. The SDD contract could lead to the production of 156 CH-53K aircraft. The CH-53K's maximum gross weight will increase to 88,000 pounds versus 73,500 pounds for the CH-53E.
"Aurora Flight Sciences designs and builds lightweight composite aircraft structures for manned and unmanned aircraft. Our role in designing and building the Nacelle for the CH-53K is a logical extension of our current work on the CH-53K Main Rotor Pylon (MRP) which was awarded in May 2007," said Aurora President John Langford.
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