JACKSONVILLE (North Carolina, the USA), May 18, 2018, Author: Galina Zdravkova, Photo: the Marine Corps
On the 16th May, the United States Marine Corps (USMC) accepted the delivery of its first CH-53 King Stallion heavy lift helicopter at the New River Air Station in Jacksonville, North Carolina, reported Defense News.
The new acquisition of the Marine Corps is reported to be the most powerful helicopter within the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).
In a command release, the deputy commandant for aviation, Lt. Gen. Steven Rudder stated, “I am very proud of the work accomplished to deliver the most powerful helicopter ever designed into the hands of our Marines.”
Except its powerfulness the CH-53K also features an exceptional bearing capacity by lifting almost three times the weight of the CH-53E. The latter has been demonstrated in January, when the helicopter managed to lift a 19,000 pound (around 8,618 kg) Joint Light Tactical Vehicle at 100 feet (around 30 m) for about ten minutes.
Unfortunately, before 2019, it will not be operational.
With regard to the above, in a command release, it was explained from the Corps that, “The helicopter’s arrival to New River enters it into the Supportability Test Plan where U.S. Marines will conduct a logistical assessment on the maintenance, sustainment and overall aviation logistics support of the King Stallion.”
The first international debut of the CH-53K took place in April at ILA Berlin air show.
The intentions of the Corps include delivery of 200 CH-53Ks, eight of which are already contracted. According to Sikorsky Aircraft, the manufacturer of the CH-53K, a second one will be delivered to the Corps in the beginning of 2019.