The U.S. Marine Corps have received their first Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion at Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina. 18 additional aircraft are in various stages of production already
“Our first delivery of a CH-53K to the Marine Corps marks the start of a new generation of true heavy lift helicopter deliveries by Sikorsky that bring unsurpassed and expanded capability across the modern battlefield to provide tremendous mission flexibility and efficiency in delivering combat power, humanitarian assistance or disaster relief for those in need,” said Dan Schultz, Sikorsky President and former CH-53 pilot.
The CH-53K can carry triple the capacity of the CH-53E, which equates to 27,000 lb externally over 110 nautical miles.
The CH-53K will undergo Supportability Test Plan at Marine Corps Air Station New River, where a logistics assessment will be conducted on the maintenance, sustainment and overall aviation logistics support of the King Stallion.
The second CH-53K helicopter is expected to be delivered by Sikorsky to the USMC in early 2019 and Initial Operational Capability (IOC) is expected next year.