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Marine Corps Looks to Ramp Up CH-53K Helicopter Production; James Geurts Quoted

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James Geurts
James Geurts

The U.S. Marine Corps intends to increase the production of the CH-53K heavy-lift helicopter after technical issues have been addressed following the restructure effort, USNI News reported Friday.

James Geurts, assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition and a 2020 Wash100 Award winner, told reporters after a House Armed Services Committee hearing about the move to reset the CH-53 program following the identification of 126 technical deficiencies, including the exhaust gas reingestion issue.

“And so we slowed the production buy a little bit on the front end, reset the program last year to make sure we had our arms around the technical risk and we were buying the helicopter we wanted, which again we’ve really seen good progress since then solving all the technical issues,” Geurts told reporters. “As those technical issues have now been solved, I forecast that we will now continue to look at ramping up the production of those airplanes to drive the cost down.”

Geurts joined Lt. Gen. Steven Rudder, deputy commandant of the Marine Corps for aviation, at the hearing of HASC’s tactical air and land forces subcommittee to discuss budget requests and aviation initiatives.