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CH-53K King Stallion

Heavy utility helicopter

CH-53K King Stallion

Once operational the CH-53K King Stallion will be the largest helicopter in the US military

 
 
Country of origin United States
Entered service 2018
Crew 2 + 3 men
Dimensions and weight
Length 30.2 m
Main rotor diameter 24 m
Height 8.46 m
Weight (empty) 15.07 t
Weight (maximum take off) 39.91 t
Engines and performance
Engines 3 x General Electric T408-GE-400 turboshafts
Engine power 3 x 7 500 shp
Maximum speed ?
Cruising speed 261 km/h
Service ceiling 4.38 km
Range 852 km
Ferry range ?
Combat radius 204 km
Payload
Passengers 55 men
Payload capacity 15.9 t
Payload capacity (external load) ?
Armament
Machine guns 3 x 12.7 mm

 

   The CH-53K was developed by Sikorsky to meet requirements of the US Marine Corps. Development commenced in 2006. This heavy helicopter was first publicly revealed in 2014. It made its first flight in 2015. Low-rate production of this helicopter commenced in 2016. First CH-53K helicopter was delivered to the USMC in 2018 and it reached initial operating capability during the same year. Currently it is the largest helicopter in the US military. The US Marine Corps requirement is for 200 new heavy-lift helicopters.

   The CH-53K is a further development of the CH-53E Super Stallion. Since 1974 the Super Stallion was the largest and most powerful helicopter outside Russia. A total of 227 machines were built. Currently US Marines are using CH-53E helicopters to deliver troops, vehicles and supplies from ships to shore. However these helicopters are wearing out. The main goal was to develop helicopter with notably improved performance in a similar airframe.

   Even though the CH-53K looks like the previous CH-53E it has a new design. It has a wider cabin. The new helicopter has the same shipboard footprint as the previous CH-53E.

   The King Stallion is powered by three General Electric turboshaft engines, developing 7 500 shp each. These engines use less fuel, deliver more power and have fewer parts than the previous engines. Machine is fitted with next-generation composite main rotor blades. Blades are folded automatically. These are the largest and most advanced blades Sikorsky has ever produced.

   The CH-53K has a payload capacity of 15.9 t. In standard configuration this helicopter can carry 37 passengers. However when centerline seats are installed the CH-53K can carry 55 passengers.  The previous CH-53E could carry just as much. The King Stallion has significantly increased lift capability over the previous Super Stallion. It can recover downed air vehicles. Also it can transport heavy weapons and vehicles externally.

   The helicopter has a redesigned composite airframe. There is lightweight ballistic protection for crew and troops. Also there are crashworthy seats for crew and troops as well as crashworthy retracting landing gear. All of these features combined significantly increase aircraft and crew survivability.

   The King Stallion is operated by a crew of 5, including 2 pilots and a combat crew of 3 gunners. Once in combat theatre this helicopter will be armed with three 12.7 mm machine guns. Two of them will be mounted in the windows on each side. The third machine gun will be mounted on the rear ramp. Helicopter also has chaff and flare dispensers.

   This helicopter is fitted with digital fly-by-wire avionics with fully integrated flight and navigation displays. The King Stallion has a refueling probe.

   A partially disassembled CH-53K helicopter fits into a C-17's cargo hold.

 

 

 
CH-53K King Stallion

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CH-53K King Stallion

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CH-53K King Stallion

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CH-53K King Stallion

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CH-53K King Stallion

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