US Navy Takes Delivery Of New CH53K

CH53KCH-53K Demonstration Flight. Image: Detlef Billig

US Navy Takes Delivery Of New CH53K

CH53K

CH-53K Demo Flight. Image: Detlef Billig

On May 16, 2018 the United States Navy took delivery of its first Sikorsky CH53K King Stallion. Further aircraft in various stages of production are currently being readied for 2019 deliveries. The new three-engine helicopter can lift up to 16.3 tons, tripling the load capacity of the soon retiring CH-53E’s which the Navy entered into service as early as 1981.

Traveling at speeds over 200 knots the helicopter is main contender to the Boeing CH47F Chinook. Currently Lockheed Martin reports 18 additional helicopters in various stages of completion and there are plans to continue production at the manufacturers plant in Stratford CT, possibly this year. More than 200 of the aircraft are on order.

In April, Sikorsky had announced its German industrialization plan for competing in the German Air Force “Heavy Transport Helicopter” (STH) program for the CH-53K King Stallion. The Rheinmetall Group, which entered into an exclusive arrangement with Sikorsky, announced taking the lead of in-service support for the CH-53K.

The picture of the CH-53K here shows the aircraft as displayed during ILA Berlin Airshow from April 25-29. There, Sikorsky had showcased the new helicopter together with plans for the long-term sustainment of the CH-53K to the German aerospace industry.