Sunday, June 2, 2013

Sikorsky To Deliver 4 CH-53K Transport Helicopters For Testing

The Pentagon has awarded Sikorsky a $435 million contract to deliver four CH-53K helicopters for testing purposes. The first CH-53K prototype helicopter was delivered to the United States Marine Corps by Sikorsky in December 2012.

The contract is to be complete by 2017. The CH-53K is meant to enter service with the United States Marine Corps and will replace the CH-53E in the heavy-lift transport helicopter role.

The CH-53K is based on the CH-53E Super Stallion and is externally similar. However, it does include a number of improvements, including:
  • Increase in lift capacity, including under hot day conditions
  • Reduction in maintenance costs by 42 percent
  • Reduction in maintenance man-hour per flight hour by 63 percent
  • Increased survivability
  • Increased speed
The CH-53K features a new cockpit and engines. The specifications are:
  • Length: 30 m
  • Height: 8.5 m
  • Rotor diameter: 24 m
  • Payload: 35000 lbs
  • Empty weight: 33226 lbs
  • Maximum takeoff weight: 84700 lbs
  • Cruise speed: 196 mph
  • Combat radius: 125 miles
  • Service ceiling: 14400 ft
The CH-53K is powered by 3 General Electric GE38-1B turboshafts with 7500 shp each.

The United States Marine Corps plans to purchase a total of 200 CH-53K helicopters. Included in the number are the above four. The CH-53K is scheduled to enter service in 2019.,0,3487230.story

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