CH-53K Helicopter Program Achieves Successful Critical Design Review

Completion of the System CDR demonstrates that the CH-53K Helicopter Program continues to build on its design foundation.


"This milestone is a turning point for our program," said Mike Torok, Sikorsky Vice-President and Chief Engineer for Marine Corps Programs, and Chief Engineer for the CH-53K. "The final design definition, which meets NAVAIR and USMC requirements, is concluding, and now we move on to the test and verification part of the program.

"Parts are being made throughout the supply base and at our new Precision Component Technology Center; test facilities are being fabricated and prepped for installation in our recently opened ground test facility; the integrated simulation facility is marching toward a late 2010 opening, already having received the first increment of software for the aircraft; and the final assembly facility in West Palm Beach is being prepared to start building the ground and flight vehicles early next year. It's time now to prove out our design and show that this helicopter system will indeed meet the war fighting requirements of the USMC and give them exceptional mission performance from a platform that is affordable and supportable for many years to come," Torok added.

The CH-53K helicopter will maintain virtually the same footprint as its predecessor, the three-engine CH-53E SUPER STALLION helicopter, but will nearly triple the payload to 27,000 pounds over 110 nautical miles under "hot/high" ambient conditions. The CH-53E helicopter is currently the largest, most powerful marinized helicopter in the world. It is deployed from Marine Corps amphibious assault ships to transport personnel and equipment and to carry external (sling) cargo loads.

The CH-53K helicopter's maximum gross weight (MGW) with internal loads is 74,000 pounds compared to 69,750 pounds for the CH-53E aircraft. The CH-53K's MGW with external loads is 88,000 pounds as compared to 73,500 for the CH-53E helicopter.

Features of the CH-53K helicopter include: a modern glass cockpit; fly-by-wire flight controls; fourth generation rotor blades with anhedral tips; a low-maintenance elastomeric rotor head; upgraded engines; a locking cargo rail system; external cargo handling improvements; survivability enhancements; and improved reliability, maintainability and supportability. The program is expected to achieve the Initial Operational Capability milestone in FY18.

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., based in Stratford, Conn., is a world leader in helicopter design, manufacture and service. United Technologies Corp., based in Hartford, Conn., provides a broad range of high technology products and support services to the aerospace and building systems industries.

SOURCE Sikorsky Aircraft Corp.

We Recommend