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King Stallion moves nearer to IOC

6th April 2022 - 14:00 GMT | by David Isby in Washington DC

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A CH-53E undergoing degraded visual environment testing at Naval Air Station Patuxent River Maryland. (Photo: DoD/Victoria Falcon).

A decision on starting full-rate production of the CH-53K King Stallion heavy-lift helicopter is scheduled for 2023 with a first deployment to follow in 2024.

The Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion heavy-lift helicopter will achieve IOC with the USMC ‘in the next several months’, programme manager Col Jack Perrin said on 5 April during a briefing at the annual Navy League meeting in Washington DC. 

He added that operational testing with USMC helicopter squadron VMX-1 is scheduled to be completed later this year.

The first USMC heavy-lift helicopter squadron to reequip, HMH-464 at New River North Carolina, stood up in January 2022 and is operating two CH-53Ks, with two more to come by the end of April. 

A decision on starting full-rate production (FRP) is scheduled

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