The sundry powerful helicopter ever fielded by the U.S. was just delivered to the Marine Body of men.
The CH-53K King Stallion aircraft touched down at Marine Corps Air Billet New River in Jacksonville, North Carolina on Wednesday.
The helicopter, which has been in increment since 2006, will replace the Marine Corps’ nearly 40-year-old CH-53E Wonderful Stallion fleet.
Wednesday’s delivery is the first of an expected 200 aircraft from Sikorsky, a part of Lockheed Martin. The CH-53K is not only considered the most powerful but also one of the ton expensive with an initial estimated unit cost of approximately $122 million.
The new heavy-lift chopper can nick c accomplish triple the weight of its predecessor at a colossal 27,000 pounds. With that personification of lift capacity, the CH-53K can transport up to four Humvees more than 100 miles.
“I am precise proud of the work accomplished to deliver the most powerful helicopter at all designed into the hands of our Marines,” said Lt. Gen. Steven Rudder, operative commandant for aviation, in a statement.
Rudder noted that the Marine Division will continue testing the chopper and hopes to declare it ready for deployment by the end of 2019.
The assist CH-53K helicopter is slated for delivery to the Marine Corps early next year.