CH-53K King Stallion


The CH-53K transports Marines, heavy equipment and supplies during ship-to-shore movement in support of amphibious assault and subsequent operations ashore.


The CH-53K is the United States Marine Corps’ (USMC’s) heavy lift replacement for the CH-53E. The most powerful helicopter in the Department of Defense, the CH-53K is a new-build helicopter that will expand the fleet’s ability to move more material, faster throughout the area of responsibility using proven and mature technologies. Currently, nine aircraft have been delivered to the U.S. Marine Corps.  At this time there are 44 program aircraft, either delivered or on contract.

The CH-53K is designed to carry 27,000 lbs (12,247 kg) at a mission radius of 110 nautical miles (203 km), in Navy high/hot environments, which is almost triple the baseline of the CH-53E. Its maximum external lift capability is 36,000 lbs (16,329 kg). It is also designed to have a smaller shipboard footprint, lower operating costs per aircraft, and fewer direct maintenance man hours per flight hour. The CH-53K is capable of landing and taking-off in a degraded visual environment and is currently on track for first fleet MEU deployment in FY2025. The USMC’s procurement objective is 200 CH-53K helicopters.


  • Transports two “up-armored” HMMWV or a Light Armored Vehicle variant under Navy high/hot conditions
  • Cabin section is 12” wider than a CH-53E and can internally load an HMMWV, or carry 2 x 10,000lb AMC 463L pallets
  • Next-generation joint interoperable CAAS “glass” cockpit
  • Fly-By-Wire flight controls add additional survivability, safety and maintenance improvements
  • Fourth-generation high-efficiency composite rotor blades with swept anhedral tips
  • Elastomeric rotor heads


Aircraft Length: 99 ft. 0.5 in.
Aircraft Height: 28 feet, 4 inches
Max Gross Weight: 88,000 lbs /39,916 kg (with external load)
Propulsion: Three T408-GE-400 turboshaft engines rated at 7,332 SHP
Crew: Two pilots, 1-3 aircrewmen (mission dependent)
Contractor: Sikorsky Aircraft, a Lockheed Martin Company

Program Status

Production Phase: IOC declared April 2022