Status of the CH-53E Helicopter Program

PSAD-77-33: Published: Feb 10, 1977. Publicly Released: Feb 10, 1977.

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The CH-53E helicopter is being developed to provide the Navy and the Marine Corps with a shipboard helicopter with greatly increased lift capability. It was intended to be a modified version of the CH-53D model; however, it now more closely resembles a new aircraft because of improvements incorporated during the development stage. The Navy expected to complete engineering development in November 1976 and to award a production contract in February 1977 for 10 aircraft. In August 1976, the Navy extended the research and development effort and deferred the procurement decision until January 1978.

The Navy's decision to extend research and development and to delay procurement of the CH-53E was appropriate. This change should provide sufficient time to fully develop and successfully test the aircraft prior to the full-scale production decision. The program restructure also had an impact on the need for fiscal year 1978 procurement funds for the CH-53E.

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