US Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) announced on September 28 that it has completed the 50th RESET maintenance process on the US Marine Corps’ (USMC's) Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion heavy-lift transport helicopter fleet.
The RESET programme is a period of dedicated maintenance that replaces high-time components and re-baselines all squadron-level inspections, producing Full Mission Capable aircraft with zero awaiting-maintenance discrepancies, providing increased monthly utilisation; a stimulated and more responsive supply chain; and decreased maintenance. The programme was launched as a result of increasing issues with the CH-53E Super Stallion, which has been worked much harder than anticipated, degrading the material condition of the airframe.
Following a Super Stallion Independent Readiness Review, it was decided to begin the RESET programme on all of the 147 helicopters in the fleet (a number that has since reduced to 142). Work began in 2016 and was expected to take three years, but this has obviously fallen behind schedule. The CH-53E - a part of Sikorsky's wider CH-53 Sea Stallion family of heavy-lift transport helicopters - entered USMC service in February 1981, with 186 airframes delivered in total.