As part of the Israeli Air Force’s plan to modernize its heavy-lift helicopter fleet, representatives from Lockheed Martin/Sikorsky and the US Marine Corps were in Israel this past week meeting with senior IAF and IMOD officials about the CH-53K King Stallion heavy-lift cargo helicopter.
That was reported by www.israeldefense.co.il.
Israeli Air Force pilots, including senior officers, have already flown the Sikorsky/Lockheed Martin CH-53K King Stallion, and the force is showing interest in the helicopters as a replacement for the veteran Yasur helicopter.
The IAF is modernizing its heavy-lift helicopter fleet, as its aging Yasur helicopters are set to be replaced by 2025 when they will be over 50 years old. Accordingly, Israel is considering purchasing 24 heavy-lift helicopters. The two contenders are the CH-53K King Stallion and Boeing’s CH-47 Chinook.
According to Program Director Parcella, the helicopter’s simulator will arrive in Israel after making its international debut at the Berlin Air Show in April. Currently, both Israel and Germany are considering purchasing the CH-53K, whose largest client so far has been the US Marine Corps, which ordered some 200 units.
Col. Vandenberg is a veteran helicopter pilot, experienced in flying in war zones such as Afghanistan, who has been marketing the helicopter for more than ten years. According to him, the Marine Corps has already logged 700 flight hours on the CH-53K, including testing its limits by flying at 207 knots (383 kph).
According to the company, the CH-53K King Stallion advances Sikorsky’s 50 years of manufacturing and operational success with its CH-53A, CH-53D/G, and CH-53E predecessors. Built to thrive on the modern battlefield, including shipboard operations, the CH-53K aircraft is designed to be intelligent, reliable, low maintenance and survivable in the most austere and remote forward operating bases.
The CH-53K helicopter has been designed and built to the exacting standards of the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) and will serve as its critical land and sea based logistics connector.