Air Industries Group (AIRI) Announces New $5.2 Million, Long-Term Agreement for the CH-53K Heavy Lift Helicopter
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Air Industries Group (NYSE AMEX: AIRI):
Air Industries Group (“Air Industries” or the “Company”), an integrated manufacturer of precision assemblies and components for leading aerospace and defense prime contractors, is pleased to announce that its Sterling Engineering subsidiary has been awarded a new Long-Term Agreement (LTA) to deliver “Chaff Pods” for the new CH-53K heavy lift helicopter. Based on existing orders for the aircraft the LTA should have a minimum value in excess of $5.2 million.
This contract award is an important success for Air Industries and for our Sterling Engineering subsidiary. This is a significant program supporting important military needs. The CH-53K is a sea-based, long range, heavy-lift helicopter providing three times the lift capability of its predecessor and exceeding all other DOD rotary wing-platforms. The primary mission of the aircraft is to support the US Marine Corps in transporting personnel and equipment from naval ships to land in the Indo-Pacific Theater. Several allied militaries, notably Germany and Israel are either considering or committed to purchasing the aircraft.
One of our corporate goals is to increase our content on new and growing aircraft platforms. The CH-53K is just such a platform. With its development phase over, the Full-Rate Production (FRP) phase is just now beginning. Production of the helicopter is forecast to more than double from four (4) aircraft in 2022 to nine (9) in 2023, and then increase by an additional 2/3rds to fifteen (15) aircraft in 2026. It is expected that the CH-53K will remain in production through 2032 and beyond.
Air Industries has been and remains a supplier for earlier versions of the CH-53 and has a current backlog of more than $7.0 million on this aircraft platform. This award is Air Industries’ first for this latest version of the aircraft, and increases our backlog for all versions of the CH-53 by more than 70%, to approximately $12.5 million.
Mr. Lou Melluzzo, CEO of Air Industries commented: “This LTA award is important for a number of reasons. Air Industries has long been a supplier for Black Hawk helicopters, this award for the new CH-53K helicopter brings our backlog to near parity between these two products. In the past, our Long Island subsidiaries performed almost all of our rotorcraft work. This award to our Sterling Engineering subsidiary in Connecticut evidences our success in having our customers view Air Industries as one Company with many capabilities.
This award also furthers our goal of transitioning Sterling’s business from predominately “shop-assist” to make-complete product produced under long-term agreements.”
Additional information about the Company can be found in its filings with the SEC.
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