The Marines’ new King Stallion Helicopter (CH-53K) is nearly ready for deployment. Once it is, it should offer some key advantages over the older CH-53E. Its radius of action is larger, and the increased loading area is large enough to fit a Humvee. But even so, the helicopter has been designed with narrower sponsons to make it easier to use aboard a ship.
The King Stallion can carry up to 35,000 pounds of cargo compared with 30,000 on the CH-53E. It’s also capable of easier unloading, thanks to a partially automated system. The King Stallion features new composite blade rotors, alongside a fully redesigned cockpit. There’s a new digital glass, haptic feedback, and a split torque gearbox. here are even some strategic machine gun placements to ensure it can deliver pain to any attackers or combatants.
Despite the suspicion of some, bigger numbers aren’t always better, but this baby can fly. The reason one chopper can do all of the above is because of decisions made by the craft’s designer. It’s a fly-by-wire helicopter, and it can carry its load farther than the CH5-53. But if you look at the statistics oh the craft, it’s hard not to take it seriously. It introduces new capabilities, new protection systems, improved armor, greater lift capacity, and supposedly better flight control. Put simply, it’s proof America can still build damn good hardware.
The CH-53K isn’t the fastest or most heavily-armed chopper in the US Marines, but it’s going to hold the record (or close to it) for maximum heavy lift from an American helicopter. The helicopter can carry 27,000 pounds externally with a range of 110 nautical miles (126.5 miles in the US, 203.72km everywhere else), according to Fox. The CH-53K is also based on a proven design; variants of the earlier CH-53E date back over 50 years.
Helicopters like the King Stallion are critical to many battle situations, for either Medivaccing or delivering supplies or reinforcements to areas that need them. Helicopters are also necessary when delivering desperately needed food or supplies to communities. A helicopter can land in spaces a jet could never reach, and this new CH-53K can potentially carry up to 3x the amount of food, water, or medicine to disaster zones.
The new helicopter is expected to be ready for volume production by the end of this year or early next, with a price tag of $ 131 million per unit. The Marines intend to have eight active duty squadrons, one training squadron, and one reserve squadron. A number of countries have already expressed interest in buying the design.