Sikorsky unveils CH-53K helicopter
Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp., has unveiled the CH-53K heavy-lift helicopter, the next generation in the CH-53 type series that the US Marine Corps expects to begin operational service in 2019. During the rollout ceremony, attended by members of Congress, the Department of Defense, major suppliers to the programme, international guests and company employees, the Commandant of the Marine Corps General F. Amos introduced the name for the new aircraft: the “King Stallion.”
“The rollout of the CH-53K helicopter introduces a new era in Marine Corps aviation and is an exciting milestone in our company’s 91 year history,” said Sikorsky President Mick Maurer. “The CH-53K air- craft will effectively triple the external load carrying capacity of the CH-53E aircraft—to more than 27,000 pounds over a mission radius of 110 nautical miles. With its 88,000pound maximum gross weight, powerful new engines, lightweight composite structure, new rotor blades and fly-by-wire flight controls, the CH-53K will have the means to move troops and equipment from ship to shore, and to higher altitude terrain, more quickly and effectively than ever before.”
The CH-53K is one of the first all-digitally designed helicopters. This approach enabled Sikorsky to assemble the aircraft inside a 3D virtual reality lab at its Stratford, Connecticut, headquarters before prototype production began.