Overview: King Stallion Helicopter; Making the Next Marine One

Posted May 8, 2014 at 5:05am

Foreign Policy writes about the King Stallion: “First there was the Sea Stallion, a workhorse helicopter that cut its teeth in combat in Vietnam. Then there was the Super Stallion, which offered more power and received heavy use in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now, we’ve learned what’s coming next: The King Stallion, the military’s most powerful helicopter ever, which is set to fly for the first time later this year.”  

“Gen. James Amos, the Marine Corps commandant, unveiled the colorful name and the first prototype of the helicopter able to make test flights in a ceremony at Sikorsky Aircraft Corp.’s test facility in West Palm Beach, Fla., on Monday. The CH-53K, as the King Stallion is formally known, will replace the CH-53D Sea Stallion and the CH-53E Super Stallion, venerable aircraft that have been used so much in recent years that the military actually started renovating some that had been sent to the boneyard, where the military sends retired aircraft. The Marine Corps wants some 200 King Stallions, at a cost of up to $25 billion, counting research and development. They could be in use by 2019.”  

Meanwhile, the Associated Press reports that “Helicopter manufacturer Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. announced Wednesday a $1.24 billion contract to build the next fleet of ‘Marine One’ presidential helicopters, ending a yearslong effort to return the high-profile aerospace project to Connecticut.”