Task And Purpose: The Pentagon’s Most Expensive Aircraft Just Got Even More Expensive
When the Department of Defense approved Lockheed Martin’s CH-53K King Stallion for Marine Corps use, a leaked decision memo revealed the brand-new heavy-lift helicopters would cost $138.5 million apiece — which, at millions more than the infamously pricey F-35A Lighting II joint strike fighter, makes the King Stallion the most expensive aircraft in the Pentagon’s arsenal.
Now, the helicopter is looking even more costly. On May 9, Bloomberg reported that new King Stallion will cost closer to $144 million apiece, 4% more than the “program acquisition unit cost” projected by the DoD last month, according to Pentagon’s Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation.
To further complicate matters, the aircraft won’t achieve initial combat capacity until the end of 2020, a year later than initially expected.
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The Marines' CH-53K King Stallion Helicopter Is On Track To Be More Expensive Than An F-35A Joint Strike Fighter In Unit Cost (March 15, 2017)
Pentagon Approves Lockheed Martin’s $27 Billion Helicopter Program To Build 200 CH-53K King Stallion Helicopters (April 5, 2017)
WNU Editor: $144 million per helicopter .... and still behind schedule.