Thursday, May 17, 2018

Sikorsky delivers first CH-53K to US Marines

Sikorsky delivered the first CH-53 King Stallion helicopter to the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) at Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina.

The aircraft is the first of an expected 200 helicopters for the Marine Corps' fleet.


The CH-53K is the new build replacement for the U.S. Marine Corps' aging CH-53E Super Stallion fleet. The CH-53E first flew in 1974 and entered service with the USMC in 1981.

The helicopter will breathe new life to USMC heavy lift helicopter fleet, as the current CH-53E has outlived their life and are in poor conditions with leaking hydraulic lines.

The CH-53K can carry 27,000 lb externally over 110 nautical miles, which is more than triple the capacity of the CH-53E.

This first CH53K heavy lift helicopter will be stationed at Marine Corps Air Station New River in Jacksonville.

There the helicopter enters into the Supportability Test Plan. U.S. Marines will conduct a logistics assessment on the maintenance, sustainment and overall aviation logistics support of the King Stallion. This assessment also will validate maintenance procedures with Marine Corps maintainers conducting hands-on care/upkeep of the aircraft.

The Supportability Test Plan will ensure readiness and support on the flightline when CH-53K helicopters enter into service with the USMC.

Sikorsky expects to deliver its second CH-53K helicopter to the USMC in early 2019.

The CH-53K test program recently completed the following milestones: maximum weight single-point cargo hook sling load of 36,000 pounds (16,329 kilograms); forward flight speed of over 200 knots; 60 degrees angle of bank turns; altitude of 18,500 feet mean sea level (MSL); 12-degree slope landings and takeoffs; external load auto-jettison; and gunfire testing.

Sikorsky is preparing its manufacturing facility in Stratford, Connecticut, to house CH-53K production beginning this summer.

The heavy lift helicopter made its international debut and showcased its maneuverability and advanced fly-by-wire technology during demonstration flights at the recent ILA Berlin Air Show in Berlin, Germany.

The CH-53K is an all new aircraft, using modern intelligent design. The rugged CH-53K helicopter is designed to ensure reliability, low maintenance, high availability and enhanced survivability in the most austere and remote forward operating bases.