Sikorsky rolls out the CH-53K heavy lift helicopter, introducing a new era in Marine Corps aviation.

The King Stallion – The next generation in the CH-53 type series heavy lift helicopters

Sikorsky unveiled the new CH-53K heavy lift helicopter during a ceremony May 5 in West Palm Beach, Florida. General James F. Amos, Marine Corps Commandant, introduced the new aircraft’s name: the King Stallion. The CH-53K helicopter will effectively triple the external load carrying capacity of its predecessor, the CH-53E – the Super Stallion. Sikorsky began powered ground tests of the CH-53K aircraft systems in April, with first flight scheduled for the end of 2014, the start of a three-year flight test program. The U.S. Marine Corps, which expects to begin operational service of the CH-53K helicopter in 2019, intends to order 200 CH-53K production aircraft, per the current program of record. The CH-53K is one of the first all-digitally designed helicopters, an approach that enabled Sikorsky to assemble the helicopter inside a 3D virtual reality lab at its Stratford, Connecticut, headquarters before prototype production began.

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