An Insight into the Largest and Heaviest Helicopter in the US Military Revealed at Combat Helicopter 2017
The workhorse of the aviation community is making a significant comeback. Many nations are
planning, conducting and finalising medium and heavy lift helicopter acquisition programs. Nations
understand they are an asset to any force, capable of lifting troops and supplies into austere
environments in all conditions.
Whilst completely new engines are rare there is still the desire for increased power-to- weight ratios,
reducing maintenance and improving fuel efficiency.
Boeing's Chinook still dominates the heavy lift market but many competitors are starting to make
their presence felt and countries are looking at alternatives platforms. Prices are high but the
choices are good - Sikorsky's King Stallion can carry over 80 tonnes, or Bell Boeing's V-22 can carry
loads at over 300mph.
At a cost of $25billion, CH-53K King Stallion doesn’t come cheap. Developed for the US Marine
Corps, the programme will deliver the largest and heaviest helicopter in the U.S. military.
Combat Helicopter 2017 will provide an opportunity to hear from Colonel Hank Vanderborght
USMC, CH-53 Program Manager, Naval Air Systems Command who will present to military leaders
the King Stallion’s range, weight, cargo systems, sensor and additional growth capabilities, along
with an overview of the support concept and opportunities for collaboration with partner nations.
For nations not ready to make that leap there are a number of technical upgrades being offered for
legacy CH models, or medium lift helicopters are being given extra lift capacity via more powerful
engines or more advanced blades.
Countries are even considering whether UAVs are ready to make the grade. Whatever the decision,
countries still need to move soldiers and supplies quickly and safely irrespective of the
environment's infrastructure - for that reason the heavy lift helicopter discussion continues.
Combat Helicopter will provide a forum for military leaders to discuss operational requirements and
the programme options available during the meeting which takes place 17th-19th October 2017 in