James Geurts: Navy, Lockheed in Final Talks for CH-53K Helicopter Production

James Geurts, Navy acquisition chief, said the Department of the Navy is in the final stretch of negotiations on a contract to produce the CH-53K King Stallion heavy-lift helicopter for the U.S. Marine Corps and expects to award the contract to Lockheed Martin in the next few weeks, USNI News reported Wednesday.

Geurts told lawmakers during the Senate Armed Services seapower subcommittee hearing Wednesday the department had to restructure the heavy lift helicopter replacement program to address flaws found in the aircraft before they come out of the production line.

“We’ve re-laid out the test program, we’ve redone our production contracts, and we’ve included in that negotiation on those contracts we’re about ready to award incorporation of the known fixes into the production lot, as opposed to retrofitting them after delivery, as well as some capacity in those aircraft to deal with problems as we discover them in the future – so we can reduce the concurrency risk, which was really what was bothering,” Geurts said.

“We’re fairly confident we’ve got the design right,” he added.

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