US Marine Corps deploys the CH-53K King Stallion in an exercise for the first time

According to information published by the U.S. DoD on September 15, 2022, the US Marine Corps (USMC) deployed the CH-53K King Stallion helicopter during training in North Carolina.

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US Marine Corps deploys the Ch 53K King Stallion in an exercise for the first time U.S. Marines with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 461 carry a cargo container with a CH-53K King Stallion at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho.  (Picture source: US DoD)

With three times the lift capability of its predecessor, the CH-53K is the new heavy-lift solution for the naval force.

Mountain Home, Idaho, was chosen as the first deployment for training for the King Stallion because it provided a new climate and terrain features distinct from North Carolina, HMH-461’s home state.

The CH-53K can fly at higher altitudes, for longer distances and in hotter conditions than the CH-53E. HMH-461 used these qualities at Mountain Home to assist in future CH-53K production and employment.

The Marine Corps continues its long legacy of innovation with this test of the CH-53K King Stallion. The lessons learned by HMH-461 during the deployment for training support the Marine Corps’ modernization efforts.

The CH-53K is a general redesign with new engines and a cockpit layout. The CH-53K uses General Electric T408 (GE38-1B) engines rated at 7,500 shp (5,600 kW) each and able to fly 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph) faster than its CH-53E predecessor.

It features a new digital glass cockpit with fly-by-wire controls and haptic feedback, HUMS, a new elastomeric hub system, and composite rotor blades to improve "hot and high" performance.