CH-53K: The U.S. Marines’ HLR Helicopter Program

CH-53K Concept

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May 29/23: Program Management Support Sikorsky won a $12 million modification, which provides production systems engineering and program management support for CH-53K full-rate production. The CH-53K is a type of helicopter used by the military. The “K” in CH-53K stands for “King Stallion. It is specifically engineered to perform heavy-lift missions that surpass the capabilities of other helicopters. With its robust design and powerful engines, the CH-53K can efficiently carry heavy loads, including equipment, supplies, and even vehicles, over significant distances. Work will take place in Connecticut. Expected completion will be in May 2024.











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CH-53K concept (click to view full) The U.S. Marines have a problem. They rely on their CH-53E Super Stallion medium-heavy lift helicopters to move troops, vehicles, and supplies off of their ships. But the helicopters are wearing out. Fast. The pace demanded by the Global War on Terror is relentless, and usage rates are 3 times normal. Attrition is taking its toll. Over the past few years, CH-53s have been recalled from “boneyard” storage at Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson, AZ, in order to maintain fleet numbers in the face of recent losses and forced retirements. Now, there are no flyable spares left. Enter the Heavy Lift Replacement (HLR) program, now known as the CH-53K. It aims to offer notable performance improvements over the CH-53E, in a similar airframe. The question is whether its service entry delay to 2018-2019 will come too late to offset a serious decline in Marine aviation. The HLR Program Lifts Off [youtube:v=k_pAe8Gvua8] Sikorksy on HLR, 2011 The $25.5 billion, 200-helicopter CH-53K program will define the long-term future of the US Marine Corps’ medium-heavy lift capabilities – and may be needed to save Marine aviation in the medium term. On average, existing CH-53E aircraft are more than […]

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