Israeli military selects Lockheed Martin CH-53K King Stallion as new transport helicopter

In a concluding meeting, the Israel's Minister of Defense accepted the Israeli Air Force (IAF) and Israel Defense Forces (IDF) recommendation to select the Lockheed Martin CH-53K helicopter as the IAF’s next transport helicopter, replacing the current “Yas’ur” (CH-53) model.

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Israeli military selects Lockheed Martin CH 53K King Stallion as new transport helicopter 01 CH-53K helicopter (Picture source: Israeli MoD)

“It is essential to the IDF’s ability to carry out a wide range of operational activities. The new helicopter is adapted to the [IAF’s] operational requirements and to the challenges of the changing battlefield.,” said Minister Gantz.

The purchase will be part of an NIS 9 billion ($2.74 billion) arms deal with the US, approved by a ministerial committee earlier this month, to supply the Israeli Air Force with numerous aircraft and munitions.

The deal will allow the military to purchase F-35 and F-15 fighter jets, heavy transport helicopters, refueling planes and other equipment deemed critical by the military, like interceptor missiles and advanced bombs for aircraft.

The Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion is a heavy-lift cargo helicopter. The design features three 7,500 shp (5,590 kW) engines, new composite rotor blades, and a wider aircraft cabin than previous CH-53 variants. The CH-53K, which can lift 36,000 pounds, is the most powerful heavy lift helicopter ever built in the United States.

Israeli military selects Lockheed Martin CH 53K King Stallion as new transport helicopter 02 A CH-53K lifting a Joint Light Tactical Vehicle during a demonstration (Picture source: US Navy)

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