USMC orders Sikorsky CH-53K
11 Apr 2006
Sikorsky has received a billion contract to develop the CH-53K shipborne heavylift helicopter for the US Marine Corps. First flight is scheduled for 2011, with service entry planned for 2015. The USMC plans to buy 156 new-build CH-53Ks to replace its CH-53Es. Deliveries of production CH-53Ks are to begin in 2013 and be completed in 2022.
The CH-53K is a derivative of the CH-53E. The CH-53K offers better payload/range and maximum take-off weight. The cabin is 0.35m (12in) wider to accommodate an HMMWV internally. But the new composite fuel-carrying sponsons cut width by 1.83m. Selection of suppliers for the engines, integrated glass cockpit, fly-by-wire flight controls and other systems will be made later this year.
- Flight International