U.S. military shows off most powerful helicopter ever developed
It's been dubbed as "the most powerful helicopter in the Department of Defense."
By Dean Murray via SWNS
Amazing images show the U.S. military showing off the most powerful helicopter ever developed by the United States government.
The CH-53K King Stallion heavy lift helicopter is seen undergoing an external load certification lift of an inoperable F-35 Lightning II airframe in December at Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River, Maryland. The lift was to evaluate the load and inform future lift capabilities.
The new-build helicopter, produced by Sikorsky Aircraft, is the United States Marine Corps (USMC) heavy lift replacement for the CH-53E.
The USMC reportedly plans to receive 200 helicopters at a total cost of $25 billion.
Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) explains: "The most powerful helicopter in the Department of Defense, the CH-53K is a new-build helicopter that will expand the fleet’s ability to move more material, more rapidly throughout the area of responsibility using proven and mature technologies.
"The CH-53K will continue to fill the CH-53E Super Stallion mission as a pillar of logistics and assault support for the U.S. Marine Corps efforts, but with significant improvements such as state-of-the-art, fly-by-wire technology reducing pilot workload, contributing to aircraft stability, and improving overall safety.
"The recent full-rate production decision for the CH-53K is validation of the aircraft’s value to the U.S. Marine Corps and last month’s test lift is one more demonstration of its performance and reliability."
Designed to lift nearly 14 tons (27,000 lbs/12,247 kg) at a mission radius of 110 nautical miles (203 km), in Navy high/hot environments, the CH-53K is capable of lifting almost triple the baseline CH-53E lift capability.
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