Tag Archives: Sikorsky

Presidential Helicopter

On August 3, Lockheed Martin announced the first flight of a VH-92A configured test aircraft in support of the U.S. Marine Corps’ VH-92A Presidential Helicopter Replacement Program. The July 28 flight signals the start of the 250-hour flight test program, which will take place at Lockheed Martin facilities in Owego, New York.

On July 28, the VH-92A configured test aircraft completed its first flight in support of the U.S. Marine Corps’ VH-92A Presidential Helicopter Replacement Program
On July 28, the VH-92A configured test aircraft completed its first flight in support of the U.S. Marine Corps’ VH-92A Presidential Helicopter Replacement Program

The aircraft achieved its first flight, and later that same day completed a second flight at Sikorsky Aircraft in Stratford, Connecticut. Total flight time for the two sorties was one hour and included hover control checks, low speed flight, and a pass of the airfield.

«This first flight of the VH-92A configured test aircraft is an important milestone for the program», said Spencer Elani, director VH-92A program at Sikorsky. «Having independently tested the aircraft’s components and subsystems, we are now moving forward to begin full aircraft system qualification via the flight test program».

As the flight test program proceeds, this test aircraft (Engineering Development Model 1, or EDM-1) will be joined by an additional test aircraft (EDM-2) over the course of the 12-month flight test program. EDM-2 is on track for its first flight later this year.

The VH-92A aircraft is based on Sikorsky’s successful and FAA-certified S-92A commercial aircraft, which recently surpassed one million flight hours. The S-92A aircraft, assembled in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, is being modified to include integration of government-defined missions systems and an executive interior.

«With this successful first flight on the books, we look forward to completion of Sikorsky’s flight test program, operational testing and production of this aircraft to support the Office of the President of the United States», said U.S. Marine Corps Colonel Robert Pridgen, program manager for the Naval Air System Command’s Presidential Helicopter’s Program Office.

The U.S. Navy awarded a $1.24 billion fixed-price incentive Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) contract with production options to Sikorsky on May 7, 2014. The EMD contract will produce a total of six aircraft: two test aircraft and four production aircraft. The production options for the remaining 17 aircraft will be finalized in FY19.

The VH-92A will enter into service in 2020. The VH-92A will transport the president and vice president of the United States and other officials. Sikorsky brings unmatched experience and a proven track record to this mission having flown every U.S. commander-in-chief since President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The VH-92A will continue this legacy for decades to come.

Flight Testing

On July 5, 2017, Lockheed Martin announced the CH-53K King Stallion program has successfully completed its first extended «cross country» flight from Sikorsky’s West Palm Beach, Florida, facility to Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland. This is the first of several such flights that will occur during 2017 and 2018 as the CH-53K flight test program transitions to the flight test facilities at Patuxent River (PAX).

The CH-53K King Stallion arrives at Naval Air Station, Patuxent River on June 30, 2017 (Photo courtesy U.S. Navy)
The CH-53K King Stallion arrives at Naval Air Station, Patuxent River on June 30, 2017 (Photo courtesy U.S. Navy)

The CH-53K King Stallion helicopter flew on June 30 from Sikorsky’s Development Flight Center in West Palm Beach to PAX, a distance of approximately 810 miles/1,307.6 km. Total flight time was six hours, with two en route fuel stops at Naval Air Station Mayport, Florida, and Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina.

«This first movement of CH-53K flight testing to our customer’s facility denotes that the aircraft have achieved sufficient maturity to begin transitioning the focus of the test program from envelope expansion to system qualification testing», said Doctor Michael Torok, Sikorsky Vice President, CH-53K Programs. «This has been the plan from the beginning and is another important step toward getting these fantastic aircraft into the hands of the U.S. Marine Corps».

The four CH-53K Engineering Development Model (EDM) aircraft have already completed more than 450 hours of flight testing at Sikorsky’s Development Flight Center in West Palm Beach, and continue to drive to the edges of the operational envelope with both internal and external loads. The flight test program will continue to operate as it has from the beginning under an Integrated Test Team (ITT) that is comprised of Sikorsky, U.S. Navy Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), and U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) personnel. Testing will continue in both locations, West Palm Beach and Patuxent River throughout the transition period.

«Bringing the CH-53K flight test program to PAX is an exciting milestone; many of the employees dedicated to its advancement now have the opportunity to work right down the street from it», said Colonel Hank Vanderborght, U.S. Marine Corps program manager for the Naval Air Systems Command’s Heavy Lift Helicopters program, PMA-261.

In April, the CH-53K King Stallion Program successfully passed its Defense Acquisition Board (DAB) and achieved a Milestone C decision that approves funding for low rate initial production.

The CH-53K King Stallion provides unmatched heavy lift capability with three times the lift of the CH-53E Super Stallion that it replaces. With the increased payload capability and a 12-inch/30.5-centimetre wider internal cabin compared to the predecessor CH-53E Super Stallion, the CH-53K’s increased payload capability can take the form of a variety of relevant payloads ranging from multiple U.S. Air Force standard 463L pallets to an internally loaded High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) or a European Fennek armored personnel carrier. In addition, the CH-53K King Stallion can carry up to three independent external loads at once providing incredible mission flexibility and system efficiency.

The CH-53K King Stallion offers enhanced safety features for the warfighter. Safety is enhanced with full authority fly-by-wire flight controls and mission management that reduces pilot workload and enables the crew to focus on mission execution because the CH-53K King Stallion all but «flies itself». Features include advanced stability augmentation, flight control modes that include attitude command-velocity hold, automated approach to a stabilized hover, position hold and precision tasks in degraded visual environments, and tactile cueing that all permit the pilot to confidently focus on the mission at hand.

Further, the CH-53K King Stallion has improved reliability and maintainability that exceeds 89 percent mission reliability with a smaller shipboard logistics footprint than the legacy CH-53E Super Stallion.

The U.S. Department of Defense’s Program of Record remains at 200 CH-53K King Stallion aircraft. The first six of the 200 Program of Record aircraft are under contract and scheduled to start delivery next year to the Marine Corps. Two additional aircraft, the first low rate initial production aircraft, are under long lead procurement for parts and materials, with deliveries scheduled to start in 2020. The Marine Corps intends to stand up eight active duty squadrons, one training squadron, and one reserve squadron to support operational requirements.

 

General Characteristics

Number of Engines 3
Engine Type T408-GE-400
T408 Engine 7,500 shp/5,595 kw
Maximum Gross Weight (Internal Load) 74,000 lbs/33,566 kg
Maximum Gross Weight (External Load) 88,000 lbs/39,916 kg
Cruise Speed 141 knots/162 mph/261 km/h
Range 460 NM/530 miles/852 km
AEO* Service Ceiling 14,380 feet/4,383 m
HIGE** Ceiling (MAGW) 13,630 feet/4,155 m
HOGE*** Ceiling (MAGW) 10,080 feet/3,073 m
Cabin Length 30 feet/9.1 m
Cabin Width 9 feet/2.7 m
Cabin Height 6.5 feet/2.0 m
Cabin Area 264.47 feet2/24.57 m2
Cabin Volume 1,735.36 feet3/49.14 m3

* All Engines Operating

** Hover Ceiling In Ground Effect

*** Hover Ceiling Out of Ground Effect

CH-53K King Stallion Flight Testing Begins Transition to Patuxent River NAS

Five-Year Contract

On June 30, 2017, the U.S. government and Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, signed a five-year contract for 257 H-60 Black Hawk helicopters to be delivered to the U.S. Army and Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customers. The multi-year contract will yield significant savings for the U.S. government compared with purchasing the same quantity across five separate annual agreements.

This image features the UH-60M Black Hawk and HH-60M MEDEVAC
This image features the UH-60M Black Hawk and HH-60M MEDEVAC

The «Multi-Year IX» contract for UH-60M Black Hawk and HH-60M MEDEVAC aircraft marks the ninth multiple-year contract for Sikorsky and the U.S. government for H-60 helicopters. The contract value for expected deliveries is approximately $3.8 billion and includes options for an additional 103 aircraft, with the total contract value potentially reaching $5.2 billion. Actual production quantities will be determined year-by-year over the life of the program based on funding allocations set by Congress and Pentagon acquisition priorities. The deliveries are scheduled to begin in October of this year and continue through 2022.

The UH-60M/HH-60M helicopters are the latest and most modern in a series of Black Hawk variants that Sikorsky has been delivering to the Army since 1978. They provide additional payload and range, advanced digital avionics, better handling qualities and situational awareness, active vibration control, improved survivability, and improved producibility.

«Four decades of production, strong program execution and delivery on behalf of the warfighter, coupled with great affordability for the taxpayer, have been the cornerstones of this program», said Sam Mehta, President, Defense Systems and Services, Sikorsky. «This contract allows us to continue supporting the important missions the Black Hawk performs as the workhorse utility and medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) helicopter in the U.S. Army inventory».

Colonel Billy Jackson, the Utility Helicopters Project Manager stated that, «This contract will provide our Army, sister services and allies with state-of-the-art modernized helicopters to complete crucial missions and save lives. Moreover, this effort will stabilize our manufacturing base and control long-term costs, and ultimately provide significant savings to the taxpayer».

Polish industry

On Monday, October 10, 2016, Prime Minister Beata Szydło and Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz participated in a meeting with the production crew of Polskie Zakłady Lotnicze Sp. z o.o. – PZL Mielec.

Polish Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz stands before a Black Hawk helicopter at the PZL Mielec factory, where he announced an initial order for the aircraft. Delivery by the end of the year, however, means they will be bought off-the-shelf, with no Polish input
Polish Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz stands before a Black Hawk helicopter at the PZL Mielec factory, where he announced an initial order for the aircraft. Delivery by the end of the year, however, means they will be bought off-the-shelf, with no Polish input

The head of the Defence Ministry also met with the management of PZL Mielec and visited the Aircraft Study and Testing Center (Pol.: Centrum Badań i Prób Statków Powietrznych).

«Later this week talks will begin, which will be concluded this year. (…) This year, the first helicopters will be delivered, allowing for exercises by our special forces to occur. This shows what potential Poland has, and what potential Mielec has», said the Defence Minister during a meeting with the employees of PZL Mielec.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Beata Szydło and the Secretary of State in the Defence Ministry Bartosz Kownacki visited PZL Świdnik (Pol.: Wytwórnia Sprzętu Komunikacyjnego PZL – Świdnik S.A.).

During the visit, the Prime Minister and the Deputy Minister met with the plant crew.

During her visit on Monday in Świdnik, Prime Minister Beata Szydło recalled that «The Program of Responsible Development» (Pol.: «Program na Rzecz Odpowiedzialnego Rozwoju») focuses on the reindustrialization and development of modern innovative technologies based on indigenous potential. «We want to rebuild Polish industry and give it a chance. We want it to become the «flywheel of development» in Poland and for Polish companies to have a chance to compete with the best in the world. This is the ambition of our Government», said the Prime Minister. «The basis for this industry is for it to be the supply source of the Polish Armed Forces», she added.

«The Polish Government must defend the best interest of the Polish State, and thus understood, is the supply of good and modern weaponry for our Armed Forces», stressed Prime Minister Beata Szydło. As she later added, «The priority of the government is for Poland to have new firms and factories producing, good, world-renowned equipment, including equipment for the army (…)», summing up.

«The interest of the security of the State requires that companies produce and service helicopters», said, in turn, the Deputy Minister of Defense Bartosz Kownacki, referring to the end of the offset talks regarding the Caracal helicopters.

«Since the terms of the offset (…) have not been met, since they did not meet the security interests of the State, we could not sign this agreement», added Mr. Bartosz Kownacki.

The Deputy Minister stressed that the negotiations could not continue indefinitely, because the needs of the armed forces require the providing of appropriate, modern helicopters in the earliest possible time frame.

Critical Design Review

Lockheed Martin on July 25 announced the successful execution of the VH-92A Presidential Helicopter Replacement Program Critical Design Review (CDR), signaling the program is ready to proceed to assembly, test and evaluation.

An artist rendering of the VH-92A aircraft
An artist rendering of the VH-92A aircraft

The joint Sikorsky/Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) VH-92A helicopter program team met in July with key collaborators from government and industry for an in-depth design review.

Throughout the review the VH-92A program team successfully demonstrated that the design meets the system requirements. Review participants included NAVAIR and industrial partners who took part in the technical presentations.

«This milestone is an important achievement for our program and demonstrates Sikorsky and NAVAIR are well aligned», said Spencer Elani, Sikorsky director, VH-92A helicopter program. «We got here by completing several milestones on or ahead of schedule. We are committed to staying on that track as we head into the building phase of the program».

The U.S. Navy awarded a $1.24 billion fixed-price incentive Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) contract with production options to Sikorsky on May 7, 2014, for 21 operational and two test aircraft.

Initial fielding is planned for 2020, with production concluding in 2023. Under the contract, Sikorsky will use its production S-92 aircraft and integrate government defined mission systems and an executive interior.

«This is an important step forward in the replacement of our presidential fleet of helicopters. The successful CDR demonstrates this helicopter system meets the requirements of the USMC and gives them exceptional mission performance from a platform that is affordable and supportable for this important mission», said U.S. Marine Corps Colonel Robert Pridgen, program manager for the Naval Air System Command’s Presidential Helicopter’s Program Office.

Two Engineering Development Model (EDM) aircraft are undergoing the modification process at Sikorsky’s Stratford, Conn., location. First flight of a VH-92A configured aircraft is planned for 2017.

The VH-92A will transport the president and vice president of the United States and other officials. Sikorsky brings unmatched experience and a proven track record to this mission having flown every US commander-in-chief since President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The VH-92A will continue this legacy for decades to come.

Armed Black Hawk

Lockheed Martin is exploring options to bring its weapons integration expertise to bear on the European S-70 Black Hawk helicopters made by Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company. The goal is to produce an armed kit scalable to the requirements of customers that procure Black Hawk aircraft direct from Lockheed Martin.

Lockheed Martin unveiled a European-built Sikorsky Black Hawk helicopter at the Farnborough International Airshow
Lockheed Martin unveiled a European-built Sikorsky Black Hawk helicopter at the Farnborough International Airshow

«Last year’s acquisition of Sikorsky by Lockheed Martin has widened the aperture of possibilities for arming the Black Hawk helicopter», said Bill Gostic, vice president, Sikorsky Global Military Systems & Services. «Lockheed Martin brings integration expertise that will allow us to customize an armed configuration – for defensive or offensive operations – to the specific preferences of current and future Black Hawk customers, and with weapons of their choice».

During the ongoing Farnborough International Airshow, Lockheed Martin is displaying outside its pavilion an armed Black Hawk aircraft manufactured at Sikorsky’s PZL Mielec factory in Poland, and with the cockpit section manufactured at Aero Vodochody in the Czech Republic. The display represents the types of weapons Lockheed Martin can integrate onto the medium-lift military utility platform that’s renowned for its multirole capabilities.

Armed external wings on either side of the displayed aircraft feature a total of four weapons stations for fire suppression and elimination of armored targets, with launchers for a mix of Hellfire and Direct Attack Guided Rocket (DAGR) air-to-ground missiles, a 19-shot Hydra-70 rocket pod, and an FN Herstal Belgium manufactured rocket machine gun pod. For laser designating of a future weapons system, the aircraft’s cockpit chin features the INFIRNO sensor system.

Crew-served weapons inside the displayed aircraft include an FN Herstal .50-caliber (12.7-mm) machine gun mounted to the cabin floor, and window-mounted 7.62-mm mini-guns. The mini-guns can also swing into a fixed forward firing position to be for operated by the pilot.

Depending on the chosen weapons configuration, the cabin can seat troops for armed assault and close air support of ground troop missions. Alternatively, the cabin can store additional ammunition for the guns and rocket pods, and an internal 200 gallon/757 L auxiliary fuel tank system for extended range and endurance required for armed escort missions.

Armed solutions are scalable – from crew served door guns to a fully integrated weapons system controlled from the cockpit by either pilot
Armed solutions are scalable – from crew served door guns to a fully integrated weapons system controlled from the cockpit by either pilot

27,000 Pound

Lockheed Martin on June 23 announced the Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion successfully completed an external lift of a 27,000 pound/12,247 kg payload at Sikorsky’s Development Flight Test Center in West Palm Beach, Florida.

The Sikorsky CH-53 King Stallion lifts a 27,000 pound/12,247 kg external load
The Sikorsky CH-53 King Stallion lifts a 27,000 pound/12,247 kg external load

The aircraft executed an «Out of Ground Effect» (OGE) external load test at 100 feet/30.5 m above the ground while performing hover maneuvers to demonstrate its excellent control authority in this flight regime. An OGE load is the most stressful of lift conditions for a helicopter from a power required standpoint. OGE is defined as an altitude greater than the helicopter’s main rotor diameter (79 feet/24 m in the King Stallion’s case) where power demand greatly increases due to loss of the benefit of ground effect.

«This 27,000 pound/12,247 kg external lift is yet another key milestone for the program», said Doctor Michael Torok, Sikorsky Vice President, CH-53K Programs. «The King Stallion achieved this external lift with ease, and we are on track to successfully complete the initial operational assessment this year».

Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company, is developing the CH-53K King Stallion heavy lift helicopter for the U.S. Marine Corps.

The Sikorsky CH-53K has already achieved speeds exceeding 140 knots/161 mph/259 km/h, and a third Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion helicopter has joined the flight test program thereby accelerating the pace to full aircraft maturity and production. The first two aircraft have already verified the King Stallion’s capabilities well in excess of the predecessor Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion. A fourth King Stallion is currently in final preparation for flight status and on track to join the flight test program this summer.

«Lifting 27,000 pounds/12,247 kg in OGE conditions is another key milestone for the program, which further confirms our confidence in the design and performance of the aircraft», said Colonel Hank Vanderborght, U.S. Marine Corps Program Manager for the Naval Air Systems Command’s Heavy Lift Helicopters Program. «This is the most strenuous condition we had to demonstrate from a performance standpoint prior to achieving Milestone ’C’ and entering production».

The King Stallion will carry a 27,000 pound/12,247 kg external load over 110 nautical miles/126.6 miles/203.7 km at 91.5°F/33°C at an altitude of 3,000 feet/914.4 m – a U.S. Navy operational requirement for «high hot» conditions. The Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion helicopter will provide unmatched heavy lift capability with reduced logistics footprint and reduced support costs over its entire life cycle.

CH-53K pilots can execute heavy lift missions more effectively and safely in day/night and all weather with the King Stallion’s modern glass cockpit. Fly-by-wire flight controls reduce pilot workload for all heavy lift missions including external loads, maritime operations, and operation in degraded visual environments. With more than triple the payload capability of the predecessor CH-53E, the King Stallion’s increased capability can accommodate a range of payloads from an internally loaded High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) up to three independent external loads at once, providing wide mission flexibility and system efficiency. Additionally, a locking U.S. Air Force pallet compatible cargo rail system reduces both effort and time to load and unload palletized cargo.

The U.S. Department of Defense’s Program of Record remains at 200 Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion aircraft. The first four of the 200 are scheduled for delivery next year to the USMC. An additional four aircraft are under long lead procurement for parts and materials with delivery scheduled in 2019. USMC initial operating capability is scheduled for 2019. The U.S. Marine Corps intends to stand up eight active duty squadrons, one training squadron, and one reserve squadron to support operational requirements.

This press release contains forward looking statements concerning opportunities for development, production and sale of helicopters. Actual results may differ materially from those projected as a result of certain risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to changes in government procurement priorities and practices, budget plans, availability of funding and in the type and number of aircraft required; challenges in the design, development, production and support of advanced technologies; as well as other risks and uncertainties including but not limited to those detailed from time to time in Lockheed Martin Corporation’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

 

General Characteristics

Number of Engines 3
Engine Type T408-GE-400
T408 Engine 7,500 shp/5,595 kw
Maximum Gross Weight (Internal Load) 74,000 lbs/33,566 kg
Maximum Gross Weight (External Load) 88,000 lbs/39,916 kg
Cruise Speed 141 knots/162 mph/261 km/h
Range 460 NM/530 miles/852 km
AEO* Service Ceiling 14,380 feet/4,383 m
HIGE** Ceiling (MAGW) 13,630 feet/4,155 m
HOGE*** Ceiling (MAGW) 10,080 feet/3,073 m
Cabin Length 30 feet/9.1 m
Cabin Width 9 feet/2.7 m
Cabin Height 6.5 feet/2.0 m
Cabin Area 264.47 feet2/24.57 m2
Cabin Volume 1,735.36 feet3/49.14 m3

* All Engines Operating

** Hover Ceiling In Ground Effect

*** Hover Ceiling Out of Ground Effect

The second King

Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company, announced on March 14 the second CH-53K King Stallion helicopter has joined the flight test program and achieved first flight. In addition, the first aircraft into the test program has achieved flight envelope expansion to 120 knots/138 mph/222 km/h for the U.S. Marine Corps’ CH-53K King Stallion heavy lift helicopter program.

The second CH-53K aircraft achieves its first flight at Sikorsky’s Development Flight Test Center in West Palm Beach, Florida
The second CH-53K aircraft achieves its first flight at Sikorsky’s Development Flight Test Center in West Palm Beach, Florida

«Adding a second aircraft into flight status signifies another milestone for the CH-53K program», said Mike Torok, Sikorsky’s vice president of CH-53K King Stallion Programs. «With both aircraft in flight test, our flight envelope expansion efforts will accelerate as we continue to make good progress toward our initial operational test assessment and full aircraft system qualification».

The first and second CH-53K King Stallion heavy lift helicopter Engineering Development Models (EDM) achieved their first flights on October 27, 2015, and January 22, 2016, respectively. To date these helicopters have achieved over 35 flight hours combined including multiple flights with an active duty USMC pilot at the controls. As the flight test program proceeds, these two flying CH-53K helicopters will be joined by two additional aircraft to complete flight qualification of the USMC’s next generation heavy lift capability over an approximately three-year flight test program.

These first two aircraft are the most heavily instrumented of the Engineering Development Models (EDM) and will focus on structural flight loads and envelope expansion. When the other two EDM aircraft join the flight line in 2016 they will focus on performance, propulsion and avionics flight qualification.

«It is exciting to have two CH-53K helicopters flying», said Colonel Hank Vanderborght, U.S. Marine Corps program manager for Heavy Lift Helicopters. «Our program continues on pace to deploy this incredible heavy lift capability to our warfighters».

Sikorsky is now developing the CH-53K King Stallion heavy lift helicopter for the U.S. Marine Corps. The King Stallion maintains similar physical dimensions with a reduced «footprint» compared to its predecessor, the three-engine CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter, but will more than triple the payload to 27,000 pounds/12,247 kg over 110 nautical miles/126.6 miles/204 km under «high hot» ambient conditions.

Features of the CH-53K King Stallion 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, United States Air Force pallet compatible cargo rail system; external cargo handling improvements; survivability enhancements; and improved reliability, maintainability and supportability.

The U.S. Department of Defense’s program of record remains at 200 CH-53K King Stallion aircraft. The U.S. Marine Corps intends to stand up eight active duty squadrons, one training squadron, and one reserve squadron to support operational requirements.

The first CH-53K aircraft achieves 120 knots/138 mph/222 km/h at Sikorsky’s Development Flight Test Center in West Palm Beach, Florida
The first CH-53K aircraft achieves 120 knots/138 mph/222 km/h at Sikorsky’s Development Flight Test Center in West Palm Beach, Florida

 

General Characteristics

Number of Engines 3
Engine Type T408-GE-400
T408 Engine 7,500 shp/5,595 kw
Maximum Gross Weight (Internal Load) 74,000 lbs/33,566 kg
Maximum Gross Weight (External Load) 88,000 lbs/39,916 kg
Cruise Speed 141 knots/162 mph/261 km/h
Range 460 NM/530 miles/852 km
AEO* Service Ceiling 14,380 feet/4,383 m
HIGE** Ceiling (MAGW) 13,630 feet/4,155 m
HOGE*** Ceiling (MAGW) 10,080 feet/3,073 m
Cabin Length 30 feet/9.1 m
Cabin Width 9 feet/2.7 m
Cabin Height 6.5 feet/2.0 m
Cabin Area 264.47 feet2/24.57 m2
Cabin Volume 1,735.36 feet3/49.14 m3

* All Engines Operating

** Hover Ceiling In Ground Effect

*** Hover Ceiling Out of Ground Effect

 

New King

Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Morel became the first U.S. Marine to fly the Corps’ CH-53K helicopter December 18, 2015 at Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation’s Development Flight Center in West Palm Beach, Florida. Morel, a test pilot with Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 21, and former Weapons and Tactics Instructor with HMH-466 «Wolfpack», took off in Engineering Development Model 1 at 10:30 a.m. to conduct direct mode mechanical stability and hover flight control response data collection.

On December 18, 2015 Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Morel became the first Marine to fly the CH-53K helicopter, during a test flight over Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation's Development Flight Center at West Palms Beach. The flight test ran for 1.5 hours and now marks the sixth flight for the aircraft
On December 18, 2015 Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Morel became the first Marine to fly the CH-53K helicopter, during a test flight over Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation’s Development Flight Center at West Palms Beach. The flight test ran for 1.5 hours and now marks the sixth flight for the aircraft

The flight test ran for 1.5 hours and now marks the sixth flight for the CH-53K. «The aircraft flew very close to the way the simulators and engineers predicted it would», said Morel. «The aircraft was quite stable and handled very predictably. You can feel the huge amount of power and overall, it definitely felt like a 53. Marines are going to love to fly this aircraft».

The King Stallion entered flight test phase on October 27, 2015. «This flight brings us to 8.2 hours on the first test aircraft, and our second test aircraft is almost ready to start flying», said Colonel Hank Vanderborght a U.S. Marine Corps program manager for the heavy lift helicopter program. «The program remains on track for initial operational capability in 2019».

The CH-53K is the Marine Corps’ new build, heavy lift replacement for the CH-53E, which will transport Marines, heavy equipment and supplies during ship-to-shore movement in support of amphibious assault and subsequent operations ashore. The CH-53K will be one of the key enablers of future joint war-fighting concepts by drastically expanding the fleet’s logistical throughput through the joint area of responsibility. Using proven and matured technologies, the King Stallion is designed to lift a 27,000-pound/12,247-kilogram external load at a mission radius of 110 nautical miles/126.6 miles/203.7 km in Navy high/hot environments – three times the CH-53E lift capability.

CH-53K Helicopter Achieves First Flight
CH-53K Helicopter Achieves First Flight

 

General Characteristics

Number of Engines 3
Engine Type T408-GE-400
T408 Engine 7,500 shp/5,595 kw
Maximum Gross Weight (Internal Load) 74,000 lbs/33,566 kg
Maximum Gross Weight (External Load) 88,000 lbs/39,916 kg
Cruise Speed 141 knots/162 mph/261 km/h
Range 460 NM/530 miles/852 km
AEO* Service Ceiling 14,380 feet/4,383 m
HIGE** Ceiling (MAGW) 13,630 feet/4,155 m
HOGE*** Ceiling (MAGW) 10,080 feet/3,073 m
Cabin Length 30 feet/9.1 m
Cabin Width 9 feet/2.7 m
Cabin Height 6.5 feet/2.0 m
Cabin Area 264.47 feet2/24.57 m2
Cabin Volume 1,735.36 feet3/49.14 m3

* All Engines Operating

** Hover Ceiling In Ground Effect

*** Hover Ceiling Out of Ground Effect

 

Design Review

Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation announced today the successful completion of the VH-92A Presidential Helicopter Replacement Program Preliminary Design Review (PDR), completion of the integration and performance testing of Mission Communications System (MCS) components, and Sikorsky’s acceptance of the second S-92A aircraft for the program. Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp.

H-92 helicopter is the military version of the company's commercial S-92 helicopter
H-92 helicopter is the military version of the company’s commercial S-92 helicopter

«Completing these three milestones on or ahead of schedule is a fantastic accomplishment. We are committed to executing this program on-time and within budget. These achievements keep this program moving forward», said Spencer Elani, Sikorsky program director, VH-92A.

On May 7, 2014, the U.S. Navy awarded a $1,244,677,064 fixed-price incentive Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) contract with production options to Sikorsky for 21 operational and two test aircraft.

Initial fielding is planned for 2020, with production concluding in 2023. Under the contract, Sikorsky will use its in-production S-92 aircraft and integrate government-defined mission systems and install an executive interior.

The PDR, completed on August 21, allowed the VH-92A team to demonstrate the preliminary design for the VH-92A aircraft, including integration of the MCS, and the supporting logistics elements. Completing this step signals that the program is ready to proceed into detailed design (Critical Design Review).

«This is but one of many steps toward the replacement for our Presidential Fleet of helicopters. I am pleased how effectively we’ve gotten out of the gate and established a solid foundation on which we’ll mature the detailed design work of this important program», said U.S. Marine Corps Colonel Robert Pridgen, program manager for the Naval Air Systems Command’s Presidential Helicopters Program Office. «This team is focused and disciplined. We must maintain both to ensure we meet or exceed the expectations of a program such as the VH-92A in the months ahead».

Engineering Development Model 0 (EDM-0), the first S-92A helicopter for the VH-92A Program, completed MCS testing on August 25. More than 80 hours of ground and flight-testing was conducted over the course of three months in Owego, New York, site of system integrator Lockheed Martin, Sikorsky’s principal supplier on the program.

Sikorsky accepted the second S-92A aircraft for the VH-92A program on September 3 when it was flown from Sikorsky’s commercial aircraft facility in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, to the Stratford, Connecticut, location. This aircraft has commenced the early stages of the modification process.

Sikorsky is working with the U.S. Navy on a fleet of VH-92A helicopters to support the presidential worldwide vertical-lift mission. To help ensure an affordable program, Sikorsky is integrating the already-FAA certified S-92A aircraft with a mature MCS and an executive interior. The VH-92A will continue to provide safe and reliable helicopter transportation for the President and Vice President of the United States and other officials.

Eventual production quantities will be determined over the life of the program, based on Department of Defense funding priorities and subject to Congressional approval of funding.