Dan Schultz, president of Lockheed’s Sikorsky helicopter unit, told reporters at the Paris Airshow that Japan could potentially follow suit since the country flies an earlier version of the helicopter.
Schultz noted that Israel has requested pricing for 20 helicopters.
Germany’s defense ministry is expected to start the procurement process for 40 heavy-lift helicopters later this month and could potentially evaluate CH-53K against Boeing’s CH-47 Chinook aircraft, the report noted.
Schultz said the Defense Department has cleared CH-53K for full-rate production and that he expects the U.S. Marine Corps to declare the helicopter combat ready in 2018.
Lockheed received Milestone C approval in April to transition the aircraft to low-rate initial production.
CH-53K is a heavy-lift helicopter that works to provide maritime- and ground-based logistics support to USMC and is designed to lift up to 27,000 pounds of external payloads.