Offbeat The US Marine Corps just got its most powerful helicopter ever

06:55  17 may  2018
06:55  17 may  2018 Source:   cnbc.com

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"[This is] the most powerful helicopter the United States has ever fielded," said Marine Col. Hank Vanderborght, the Corps ' H-53 program manager. "Not only the most powerful , the most modern and also the smartest."

Marine Corps officials announced early this month that the CH-53K was on track to enter service sometime in 2019 as a replacement for. “[This is] the most powerful helicopter the United States has ever fielded,” CH-53 program chief Marine Col.

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The most powerful helicopter ever fielded by the U.S. was just delivered to the Marine Corps.

The CH-53K King Stallion aircraft touched down at Marine Corps Air Station New River in Jacksonville, North Carolina on Wednesday.

The helicopter, which has been in development since 2006, will replace the Marine Corps' nearly 40-year-old CH-53E Super Stallion fleet.

Wednesday's delivery is the first of an expected 200 aircraft from Sikorsky, a unit of Lockheed MartinLMT. The CH-53K is not only considered the most powerful but also one of the most expensive with an initial estimated unit cost of approximately $122 million.

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The ‘ Most Powerful ’ Helicopter Ever Fielded By The US Is Also The Most Expensive. Marine Corps officials announced early this month that the CH-53K was on track to enter service sometime in 2019 as a replacement for the existing CH-53 Echo fleet.

The US Marine Corps just finished testing a fully autonomous helicopter that can conduct missions start to finish without ever being piloted — even remotely. The aircraft could potentially be used to re-supply and reinforce units in hot zones.

The new heavy-lift chopper can carry triple the weight of its predecessor at a colossal 27,000 pounds. With that type of lift capacity, the CH-53K can transport up to four Humvees more than 100 miles.

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"I am very proud of the work accomplished to deliver the most powerful helicopter ever designed into the hands of our Marines," said Lt. Gen. Steven Rudder, deputy commandant for aviation, in a statement.

Rudder noted that the Marine Corps will continue testing the chopper and hopes to declare it ready for deployment by the end of 2019.

The second CH-53K helicopter is slated for delivery to the Marine Corps early next year.

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