Report: Sikorsky extends delay on CH-53K

CH-53KSikorsky Aircraft reportedly pushed back further its planned first flight of the CH-53K King Stallion helicopter, the largest development contract the Stratford manufacturer has on the books as it readies to be sold or spun off by parent United Technologies.

Hartford-based UTC (NYSE: UTX) and Sikorsky are exhibiting this week at the Paris Air Show. According to Reuters, Sikorsky is now planning an initial test flight for October or November of the CH-53K. In April, IHS Jane’s 360 reported a test flight was a possibility for July, which represented a delay from Sikorsky’s original schedule.

Bob Leduc, who earlier this year replaced Mick Maurer as president of Sikorsky, told Reuters Sikorsky has had to replace titanium shafts with steel versions, and also incorrectly modeled loads in the gearbox.

“We’re making sure there’s no other surprises in there,” Leduc told Reuters.

The Marine Corps plans to purchase as many as 200 CH-53K helicopters, with the total contract worth as much as $23 billion. On Monday, the Department of Defense awarded Sikorsky $38.9 million to procure various parts for two CH-53K prototype helicopters.

The GE Aviation division of Fairfield-based General Electric (NYSE: GE) is to provide engines for the CH-53K.