CH-53K deliveries begin

The first CH-53K King Stallion lands at Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina on May 16. The aircraft’s delivery to MCAS New River marked another on-time milestone for the US Marine Corps’ future heavy-lift helicopter programme. Personnel with Marine Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron 1 (VMX-1) will bring the CH-53K into a supportability test plan, where they will conduct a logistical assessment on the maintenance, sustainment and overall logistics support of the King Stallion.
Sgt Matthew Callahan/US Marine Corps

The first of an anticipated 200 Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion helicopters was delivered to the US Marine Corps on May 16, 2018.

The helicopter will be based at Marine Corps Air Station New River, near Jacksonville in North Carolina, and will next enter the US Marine Corps supportability test plan. Under the plan, the CH-53K will be utilised in a logistics assessment that will examine the maintenance, sustainment and logistics support footprint of the type in Marine Corps service.

Dan Schultz, Sikorsky’s President, said: “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.”

Shultz, a former CH-53 pilot himself, added: “With 18 additional aircraft in various stages of production already, the entire Sikorsky team, in partnership with our suppliers, is looking forward to additional deliveries.”

A second CH-53K is expected to be delivered to the Marine Corps in early 2019 and Sikorsky is gearing up its manufacturing facility in Stratford, Connecticut to accommodate the production line.