The CH-53K King Stallion heavy lift helicopter has entered Full Rate Production (FRP) and its deployment phase, following a decision review by Frederick J. Stefany, Acting Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition.

FRP occurs at the end of Low Rate Initial Production following a review assessing the results of Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E), Live Fire Test and Evaluation, production readiness reviews, risk, and affordability analyses.  On Dec. 21, the Acquisition Decision Memorandum was signed, authorizing entry of the CH-53K into FRP.

FRP is an important milestone to the H-53 Heavy Lift Program Office (PMA-261), as it allows the program to proceed beyond LRIP and begin increasing procurement quantities, thereby gaining production efficiencies and reducing unit costs.

“We have successfully demonstrated the performance and reliability of this aircraft,” said Col. Kate Fleeger, PMA-261 program manager.  “With FRP we will continue to build on the strong manufacturing, sustainment and support that has been established for the CH-53K.”

The Marine Corps continues to execute its transition from the CH-53E to the CH-53K and is on schedule to declare Full Operational Capability in FY2029.

PMA-261 manages the cradle to grave procurement, development, support, fielding and disposal of the entire family of H-53 heavy lift helicopters.


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