The heaviest helicopter. "Royal Stallion" for the German military


Sikorsky, an American manufacturer of helicopter technology, and large German weapons Rheinmetall concern offer German military new heavy helicopter CH-53K King Stallion ("Royal Stallion"). The companies introduced a pool of manufacturers who will participate in the release and maintenance of the new helicopter. It is assumed that this particular machine will become the winner of the program to supply the Bundeswehr with a new heavy transport helicopter.


CH-53K King Stallion second only to Mi-26


The heavy transport helicopter CH-53K King Stallion, developed by Sikorsky engineers, is by far the heaviest helicopter available to the United States and NATO members. The helicopter is a further development of the CH-53 Sea Stallion, the first flight of which took place on October 15, 1964. In the future, the machine was repeatedly modernized and is still in service with the United States and other states.

Work directly on the CH-53K King Stallion model began back in 2006. The main customer of the new heavy transport helicopter equipped with three engines was the United States Marine Corps. In total, Sikorsky is ready to supply two hundred such helicopters to the US Marines, and the total amount of the possible deal is estimated at $ 25 billion. Ground tests of the first models of the new version of the helicopter started in 2014, and the first flight tests took place on October 27, 2015. That is, 51 years after the flight of the first Sikorsky CH-53 helicopter. In 2018, the first helicopter was transferred to the U.S. Marine Corps. By that time, CH-53K King Stallion helicopters flew a total of more than 1200 hours during test flights, reaching all of the set targets. In April 2018, the Sikorsky CH-53K helicopter also made its first flight in Germany.


Photo: usni.org

Currently, the new CH-53K King Stallion heavy transport helicopter is a modern aircraft with excellent cargo capacity. In the West, this helicopter simply has no analogues. At the same time, the novelty of American industry is inferior to the Russian Mi-26T helicopter. The payload of the American CH-53K King Stallion helicopter according to the manufacturer is limited to 36 thousand pounds (approximately 16,3 tons), while the Mi-26T has a maximum payload of 20 tons. At the same time, the domestic heavy transport helicopter is noticeably larger, its maximum take-off weight is 56 tons against 39,9 tons from an American colleague. So, the dominance of the Mi-26 helicopter, as the largest and hoisting helicopter in the world, is not yet in danger.

Sikorsky and Boeing fight for German contract


The Bundeswehr program for the purchase of heavy transport helicopters involves the conclusion of a contract for the purchase of 44 to 60 rotorcraft in 2021, followed by service support and training of technical personnel and pilots. At the same time, Sikorsky and Rheinmetall will compete with another aviation giant - Boeing Corporation. Boeing is promoting its equally well-known heavy transport helicopter H-47 Chinook in Germany, used in 20 countries around the world.

Especially for operation in the German Air Force, Sikorsky and Rheinmetall formed a large team, which included 10 well-known German industrial companies, including MTU Aero Engines, Hydro Systems KG, Autoflug GmbH, Rockwell Collins Germany, ZFL and others. All of them can become Sikorsky's technical partners and suppliers of equipment and various units for the CH-53K King Stallion helicopters to be used by the Bundeswehr. These same companies will help the German army in the maintenance, repair and operation of these helicopters. To facilitate these tasks, it is planned to create a special logistics center and a service center for supporting heavy transport helicopters in Germany, which can be located at the Leipzig / Halle airport. This international airport, located in the city of Skojdice, serves both German cities.


Photo: Sikorsky

The decision to create in Germany a whole pool of companies that will supply their own equipment for the German version of the helicopter seems to be beneficial for the German aerospace industry. As Mark Schmidt, Managing Director of Rheinmetall Aviation Services GmbH, notes, for the industry this will mean the creation of new jobs for highly qualified specialists, as well as the transfer of modern technology. Moreover, the project is long-playing, since it is planned to operate the new helicopter for decades, and the scope of its application is not limited to solving military tasks. It is planned to pay special attention to the export deliveries of the machine.

Features of the new CH-53K King Stallion helicopter


The new heavy transport helicopter CH-53K King Stallion is a modern machine, which is based on a well-established helicopter with half a century history military service. At the same time, according to the president of Sikorsky, Dan Schulz, the new helicopter has every opportunity to survive in the sky for another 50 years, performing a variety of military and civilian tasks.

The main purpose of the CH-53K King Stallion heavy transport helicopter is to transport troops and equipment, including from ship to shore; evacuation of the wounded and injured; search and rescue operations, including military operations; support for special operations forces; participation in humanitarian missions; extinguishing various fires. At the same time, the helicopter can be operated in various climatic zones from the Arctic to the desert, in all weather conditions and in any visibility.


Photo: Lockheed Martin

It is worth noting that the new helicopter received a “glass” cockpit, completely updated avionics and digital control systems with the ability to easily update software in the future. The widespread introduction of modern technology has reduced the helicopter crew to two people. According to the manufacturer, the internal payload can also be increased in the future due to the relatively simple modifications of the helicopter. To the features and advantages of the CH-53K King Stallion helicopter, developers also include an integrated sensor system, which allows you to monitor, predict and prevent various technical problems with equipment in real time at an early stage. In the future, this should significantly reduce the maintenance costs of heavy helicopters (both monetary and temporary). This, in turn, should have a positive effect on ensuring high flight readiness of the entire fleet of such machines.

A feature of the CH-53K King Stallion helicopter is the power plant, represented by three General Electric T408 turbo engines with a capacity of 7500 hp. each. This power plant provides the helicopter with very high speed characteristics for machines of its class. The maximum speed of the helicopter is 315 km / h. This is a lot even in comparison with attack helicopters, cruising speed - about 290 km / h. For comparison, the maximum speed of the Mi-26T according to the manufacturer is 270 km / h. High speed allows the CH-53K King Stallion helicopter to quickly leave the danger zone for the crew and landing. The maximum possible flight altitude is 18 thousand feet (5486 meters).

The maximum carrying capacity of a helicopter with the placement of goods on an external sling is 16,3 tons. At the same time, King Stallion is able to transport 12 kg of various cargoes on an external sling over a distance of 200 km. The result was obtained in conditions of high air temperature - 204 degrees Celsius with a flight altitude of 33 meters. This is almost twice as good as the result of its predecessor - the CH-914E helicopter. At the same time, the possibilities for transporting goods inside the transport cabin have been expanded. The cabin has become wider by 53 cm or 30 percent, compared with its predecessor. This allows you to transport vehicles inside the helicopter, for example, multi-purpose wheeled armored vehicles HMMWV without transforming the cabin. Also in the cabin you can transport two pallets 15L (463x2 kg), or three tanks with fuel capacity of 4500 liters each, or 3030 infantrymen (without installing the central row of seats), or 32 wounded on a stretcher. The dimensions of the cargo compartment: length - 24 meters, width - 9,1 meters, height - 2,6 meters.


An additional feature of the CH-53K King Stallion helicopters is that they are equipped with a refueling system in the air. The helicopter is fully compatible with the standard Lockheed Martin KC-130J tanker, which the Bundeswehr also plans to operate in the future. A separate advantage is the design of the cargo compartment, which will allow using the same pallets as on the C130-J and A400M transport planes. Due to this, the helicopter can be used for shuttle transport of goods from the place of landing of these transport aircraft to their destination. This is very convenient, given that the CH-53K helicopter can also be used in places where it is simply not possible to land a heavy transport aircraft.




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Photos used:
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  1. Vladimir_2U 17 January 2020 05: 41 New
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    Oh how on Bunshu "Sea King" is similar, only completely devoured! )))
    1. CTABEP 17 January 2020 07: 13 New
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      Slightly expanded - but the Humvee climbs :).
      1. Vladimir_2U 17 January 2020 07: 14 New
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        Late in the afternoon, "Oshkosh" in the trend, not?
        1. Vasily Ponomarev 17 January 2020 08: 03 New
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          Humvees will not replace for a long time
          1. arkadiyssk 17 January 2020 09: 58 New
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            This was, by the way, one of the main requirements for the updated Stallion - the ability to transport the Humvee in the cab and not on the outside.
            1. san4es 17 January 2020 12: 05 New
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              ....
              .... in various climatic zones from the Arctic to the desert ...
    2. TermNachTer 17 January 2020 18: 47 New
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      It may be good, but the three-engine layout and, accordingly, the more complex main gearbox are very controversial. As the Germans say: "There is no gut."
      1. fruit_cake 22 February 2020 15: 21 New
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        the Germans are still those lovers to complicate things
        1. TermNachTer 22 February 2020 15: 47 New
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          Well, it’s not the Germans that complicated it. The problem is powerful engines. D - 136, developed in the USSR, manufactured at Motor Sich, no one else could.
  2. Dedok 17 January 2020 08: 02 New
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    Handsome, neither give not take
    1. Bad_gr 17 January 2020 18: 25 New
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      Quote: Dedok
      Handsome, neither give not take

      In my opinion, it’s kind of absurd in appearance, compared to our Mi-26:

      1. Timx 18 January 2020 13: 21 New
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        And in my opinion, for the 1964 machine of the development, on the contrary, it looks very bold and `` futuristic '', which allows it to remain relevant for so many decades, unlike its contemporary and prototype Mi-6, which has long been retired .. smile
        1. Bad_gr 18 January 2020 14: 20 New
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          Quote: TimX
          And in my opinion, for a car of 1964, it, on the contrary, looks very bold and `` futuristic '',

          What is `` futuristic '', I agree, only all of these boxes sticking out in different directions, located in the area of ​​the air flow from the propeller, do not add aerodynamics to the helicopter.
          Quote: TimX
          .... unlike his contemporary and the prototype Mi-6, which has long retired ..

          And why use the Mi-6th if a more advanced Mi-26 appeared in its niche, which surpasses it in almost all respects (except for speed).
          Mi-26 until recently was considered the most economical helicopter (the lowest cost of transporting goods).
          1. Timx 20 January 2020 00: 10 New
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            only all of these boxes protruding in different directions, located in the airflow zone from the propeller, do not add aerodynamics to the helicopter

            Well, here the author of the article does not agree with you and, conversely, highlights his high cruising and maximum speed, in comparison with our Mi-26 ... I, too, must confess, at first I was very surprised (like, Sergei is a well-known author on VO and in matters of aviation and air defense in amateurism was not seen ..)
          2. Timx 20 January 2020 00: 46 New
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            And why use the Mi-6th if a more advanced Mi-26 appeared in its niche ...

            The fact of the matter is that these are machines of different classes and they are related only by the take-off mass, which (for Mi-6) was the result of imperfect technology in the mid-50s and the fact that it was the first Soviet helicopter with a gas turbine engine and at once of such a dimension (At first, Mil himself planned to limit himself with a load capacity of 5-6 tons and one engine with 5000 hp, but the military, as often happens, got a taste and ...). Therefore, the need for a new machine in the MI-6 or CH-53K class did not go away, and the Milevtsi themselves started working on such a machine (under the Mi-46 index) almost immediately after launching the Mi-26 in mass production and receiving real data on the cost of its life cycle. But the lack of an engine of the required dimension, and then the perestroika and the collapse of the union led to the freezing and curtailing of all work .. But, starting in 2010, the Chinese insistently offer KB Mil to create a joint car of this class (now known as AHL)
        2. John22 19 January 2020 19: 34 New
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          Mi - 6 car 1957. And it was a breakthrough in capacity and applied engines.
        3. TermNachTer 22 February 2020 15: 49 New
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          Bold and futuristic - this is certainly cool and stylish, but very weak in terms of performance characteristics. Mi - 26 is in the ranks and will be in the ranks for a long time. Russia and China are just drawing a car for its replacement.
      2. monster 19 January 2020 10: 10 New
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        Our helicopter is more elegant) Bourgeois, with all these protrusions and boxes, resembles a marauder, hung with other people's good, taken from the fallen.
      3. Dedok 20 January 2020 08: 55 New
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        And, you estimate - the height from the bottom to the node of the blades ?, then the total length ... and you will understand what is the beauty. No need to even look at the performance characteristics of both ...
      4. fruit_cake 22 February 2020 15: 22 New
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        where does the mi-26? this is another class helicopter
  3. The leader of the Redskins 17 January 2020 09: 05 New
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    Tubular or still turbo engines?
    1. John22 19 January 2020 19: 28 New
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      Of course TURBO. From the word turbine. With a free turbine, i.e. there is no rigid connection with the drive turbine (compressor). Gas connection.
  4. Dur_mod 17 January 2020 09: 15 New
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    And when Sikorsky was a fellow countryman, he served in Kiev, there is a double impression and it seems that his work lives on but works for the enemy.
    1. iouris 17 January 2020 15: 15 New
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      So the "countrymen" work there.
  5. Private-K 17 January 2020 09: 19 New
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    The Bundes will have to buy it. If only because there are no alternative options.
  6. Maxim364364 17 January 2020 11: 11 New
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    in comparison with our Mi-26, the internal volume is simply nothing, a hundred cows with backpacks and junk got into a cow, though you fly like in a crowded bus at rush hour.
    1. Timx 18 January 2020 13: 00 New
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      Compared to our Mi-26, the internal volume is simply not about anything ..

      it is still a different class of machine: the CH-53 was designed by I. Sikorsky under the impression of the Soviet Mi-6, which was then the largest and heaviest in the world and which he could personally see and evaluate at the air show in Le Bourget in 1965.
      Therefore, it is more logical to compare these two machines. And here it is already obvious that the `` American '' has come a long way of development and improvement and is still being produced, which has become possible thanks to the great modernization potential laid down in it from birth, comparable only with our Mi-8, but the Boeing one `` Chinook ''. Mi-6, like many pioneering machines, did not receive such a long development and was replaced in the production and operation of the Mi-26, a machine also outstanding and still unique, but still of a slightly different dimension.
  7. Alexey RA 17 January 2020 11: 35 New
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    Hmm ... heavy vehicles are aging slowly. For the history of CH-53 began 60 years ago when the marines decided to transfer from helicopters with piston engines to helicopters with turboshaft engines. They managed to beat off the Boeing with its Chinook (although McNamara insisted on "unifying weapons and equipment with the army"), and Sikorsky became the winner. Since then, the CH-53 has been modernized and modernized by changing and adding engines, rotor blades, materials, etc.
    1. Timx 18 January 2020 12: 51 New
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      From the Boeing with its Chinook they managed to beat off ..
      well, in fairness, the U.S. KMC by that time already had positive experience operating another helicopter of the longitudinal circuit - the Boeing Helicopter CH-46 Sea Knight, which successfully served the Marines until the spring of 2015, after which they were replaced on the MV-22 Osprey.
  8. Petrol cutter 17 January 2020 21: 01 New
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    Terrible, like an atomic war.
    But, if this does not affect the speed, then please. High will be. Well, the US Army needs to solve its problems.
    In my provincial view, most of the cars from Sikorsky are purely aesthetically-a little scary.
    Comrade Miles, in my opinion, paid more attention to the aerodynamics of his devices. Yes, and Comrade Kamov, too.
  9. voyaka uh 18 January 2020 00: 19 New
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    Israel is also moving to King Stallion.
    Although I like Chinook more.
    In favor of Stallion, that it switched to all digital and open architecture.
    It is easy to hang on it, for example, lasers against MANPADS and even explosive rockets for self-defense.
    And enter them into common systems and display.
    1. Timx 18 January 2020 12: 16 New
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      Israel also moves to King Stallion

      Yes, but how much do you plan to buy?
      And so, I remember, in the Israeli Air Force the French `` Super Hornet '' SA-321K managed to decently fly like that, too, by the way, a three-engine ... smile
      1. voyaka uh 18 January 2020 13: 20 New
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        Going to buy 20 pieces - a squadron.
        But the receipt will stretch for many years.
        The assembly line is slow, and now the German order will still fit in? recourse
        Chinook is half the price ...
        1. Timx 18 January 2020 13: 36 New
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          Well, at first, all industries are slowly dispersing, this is not a problem, they will pick up pace over time, and now Sikorsky is part of Lockheed Martin, so they will help if necessary, especially with the fuselages and some units. Just how many new CH-53s have not been produced, 20-25 years, probably? It turns out all the same, that to master a new type ..
          Chinook is half the price ...

          so it is 40% lighter and less in carrying capacity, moreover, its production has been established for a long time and is still ongoing ..
          In addition, Israel has accumulated considerable experience with previous modifications of the CH-53, why give it up and spend time and money on developing a new machine (CH-47), which is inferior in most respects (with the exception of aerobatic ones, perhaps), and anyway you will not pay for them wink
          1. voyaka uh 18 January 2020 13: 40 New
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            Our transport helicopters are very, very old. Start soon
            to fall apart. Therefore, for safety, I would buy a dozen Chinukov -
            getting fast. And then you can stay with nothing at all sad
  10. 320423 18 January 2020 10: 42 New
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    Yes, when it comes to the CH-53K King Stallion, I immediately recall the words "price" - two hundred such helicopters, and the total amount of a possible deal is estimated at $ 25 billion. What else to add!
    1. Timx 18 January 2020 11: 45 New
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      Well, there’s a slight nuance ... The US military has been buying for 25 years not equipment as such, but conclude life cycle contracts, which already include the cost of the equipment itself, ammunition, spare parts and diagnostic and repair equipment for it, but the most important thing is a service package (at least 15-25 years) with the possibility of extension for an additional fee ... And if you spread these costs over the years, then quite `` real '' money comes out ... This is what now Our military customers insist on coordination of technical tasks for the development and modernization of armaments, however, while everything rests on the fact that accounting for all expenses immediately at the stage of purchasing equipment will block the flow of “kickbacks” and “cuts” between customers from the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation and arms manufacturers, especially “tight” It will be necessary for pickers and suppliers of 2-3 levels, to which the “golden rain” of kickbacks, bonuses and other “parachutes” almost never comes from the concluded contracts, but they also want to live.
      1. Timx 18 January 2020 12: 09 New
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        So our new Mi-26T2V and Mi-38T will also not cost as cheaply as their predecessors Mi-26 and Mi-8MT (AMT) - $ 15-25 million. If the MoD does push the conclusion of life cycle contracts (which is very likely, because Serdyukov insisted on them as Minister of Defense, but then it wasn’t before), then there will be a completely different order of prices than now.
        1. 320423 23 January 2020 21: 31 New
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          https://topwar.ru/113935-stoimost-vertoleta-ch-53k-king-stallion-prevysila-stoimost-f-35.html
  11. TANKISTONE 18 January 2020 23: 30 New
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    TTX good. Question: Why do Fritz need such helicopters in such numbers? Where will the place of deployment be (considering MX2 for landing, maintenance, refueling). + Refueling system. Is it possible to extinguish forest fires ???
    1. Timx 19 January 2020 05: 59 New
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      Well, they just change their fleet of the same CH-53s, only 40 years ago, and they buy much less than they had in the 80s ... there’s no reason to be afraid, and the refueling bar will make it much easier relocation during the maneuvers and exercises within the NATO framework (they certainly won’t trample on the front line, because you will have to drive ahead the heavy S-130 tankers, who, if purchased, will be a couple of pieces and which are the dream of any MANPADS operator))
  12. Timx 20 January 2020 00: 24 New
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    Quote: TimX
    only all of these boxes protruding in different directions, located in the airflow zone from the propeller, do not add aerodynamics to the helicopter

    Well, here the author of the article does not agree with you and, conversely, highlights his high cruising and maximum speed, in comparison with our Mi-26 ... I, too, must confess, at first I was very surprised (like, Sergei is a well-known author on VO and in matters of aviation and air defense in amateurism was not seen ..)