The first Sikorsky CH-53K has been rolled out at a ceremony at the company’s Long Beach facility in Florida.
Named King Stallion as a tribute to its CH-53E Sea Stallion lineage, the new CH-53K is a larger and almost completely new machine with far greater capabilities, despite sharing a similar mould line.
“The rollout of the CH-53K helicopter introduces a new era in Marine Corps aviation and is an exciting milestone in our company’s 91 year history,” Sikorsky president Mick Maurer said at the rollout. “The CH-53K aircraft will effectively triple the external load carrying capacity of the CH-53E aircraft — to more than [13,000kg] over a mission radius of [200km]. With its [42,000kg] maximum gross weight, powerful new engines, lightweight composite structure, new rotor blades and fly-by-wire flight controls, the CH-53K will have the means to move troops and equipment from ship to shore, and to higher altitude terrain, more quickly and effectively than ever before.”
The CH-53K is powered by three GE T408 engines which provide 57 per cent more power while using 20 per cent less fuel than the CH-53E’s T64 turboshafts.
The USMC has a requirement for more than 200 CH-53Ks to replace its Vietnam-era CH-53Es, with service entry expected to commence in 2017. Ground engine and dynamic component testing is well underway, and flight trials will start later this year.
Start your very own aviation journey with Australian Aviation. Sign up today for as little as $49.95 and you’ll enjoy access to:
You can always rely on us to keep you in the know.
Join now and start enjoying all these benefits today.