CH-53K initial testing a success
The CH-53K King Stallion has successfully completed initial operational testing by the US Marine Corps (USMC), with the programme now focused on achieving a Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) Milestone C decision early 2017. Lockheed Martin announced the completion of the testing on 21 October.
The testing included external lift scenarios of 27,000lbs, in hover and a 12,000lb 110 nautical mile radius mission. Ground events included embarkation/debarkation of combat equipped troops, internal and external cargo rigging, tactical bulk fuel delivery system operation and medevac litter configuration.
According to Lockheed Martin, all test objectives were met.
The assessment is a pre-requisite to Milestone C and is intended to minimise risk to successfully pass the USMC operational evaluation phase for a future full rate production decision.
CH-53K development flight testing continues at the Sikorsky Development Flight Center in West Palm Beach, Florida, where all four Engineering Development Model aircraft have reached flight status.
The King Stallion will carry three times the external payload of the predecessor CH-53E, equating to a 27,000lb external load over 110 nautical miles under ‘high hot’ ambient conditions.
The US Department of Defense's Program of Record calls for 200 CH-53K aircraft.
More from Defence Helicopter
Royal Navy helicopter crews transfer control of UAS in European first
Using technology supplied by QinetiQ, two Royal Navy helicopter crews successfully exchanged control of a UAS while in flight.
Leonardo wins Canadian helicopter upgrade programme
The upgrade contract will ensure that the Candian helicopters are compliant with future technological requirements.
Guatemala receives Bell Subaru helicopters
The latest version of the Bell 412 helicopter has improved performance and weight capacity and will support Guatemala in various missions.
Algeria expresses interest in AW249 while AW139 deal remains in limbo
Leonardo and Algeria hope to seal the AW139 deal in 2023 while Italy and the North African country further strengthen defence ties.
Nigeria to receive new attack helicopters
The Nigerian Air Force is to receive more than 50 attack air assets to strengthen its ability to fight insecurity within its borders.
Royal Navy upgrades Merlin helicopters
The Royal Navy's amphibious helicopters have received an improved defensive aid suit and Merlin pilots can now train in a synthetic training environment.