Curtiss-Wright has received a contract from Sikorsky to develop and supply blade-fold distributor units and digital air-data computers for the US Marine Corps CH-53K heavy-lift helicopter.

The contract has a total value of $16m if all development and aircraft production options and phases are exercised.

Curtiss-Wright CEO and chairman Martin R. Benante said the blade-fold technology and digital air-data computers will enable the helicopter to effectively deploy from amphibious ships.

The blade-fold units will provide information to execute the functions of the main rotor blades, while digital air-data computers provide flight-critical height and speed information to the cockpit.

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By GlobalData

Work will be carried out at the company’s facility in California, US, and Christchurch, UK, with the production phase expected to begin in 2013.

The CH-53K is expected to replace the CH-53E and is used to transport heavy payloads over longer distances.