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CH-53K initial testing a success

25th October 2016 - 16:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


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. 

The Shephard News Team


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