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The US Marine Corps ideally wants its new Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion to carry 13.6t (30,000lb) externally over 110nm (204km) unrefueled, but early analysis indicates that it will fall approximately 907kg short of that “objective” key performance requirement.
The minimum target is 12.2t (27,000lb) over 110nm in high, hot environments, which US Naval Air Systems Command officials expect the in-development aircraft to comfortably achieve. However, CH-53K integrated product team deputy Col John Neville says it is too early to tell exactly what external load target the CH-53K will meet or what programmatic steps the NAVAIR might take to bump up the aircraft’s performance to the objective requirement.
“From an acquisition and requirements standpoint, that’s the trade space,” Neville said during a teleconference briefing at the 72nd annual American Helicopter Society (AHS) International meeting in West Palm Beach, Florida on 19 May. “The engines are extremely powerful, but one of the things we do know is right now we’re probably somewhere in-between those two values [of 27,000lb and 30,000lb].