4 years ago

WATCH: This Is Most Powerful, Dangerous & Most Expensive Helicopter Of The U.S. Army

WATCH: This Is Most Powerful, Dangerous & Most Expensive Helicopter Of The U.S. Army

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The King Stallion’s costs will likely only grow. After the CH-53K successfully pulled off its first cross-country flight last summer, Naval Air Systems Command announced its first official production contract for two helicopters for $303.97 million, or just under $152 million for each aircraft, “along with engineering and integrated logistics support, spares, and peculiar support equipment.”

The CH-53K King Stallion heavy-lift helicopter is on track to enter arsenals around the world within the next few years — but it’ll cost militaries a pretty penny.

Marine Corps officials announced early this month that the CH-53K was on track to enter service sometime in 2019 as a replacement for the existing CH-53 Echo fleet. Weeks later, manufacturer Sikorsky debuted the CH-53K at a German air show in a move that, per Aviation Week, signals that the defense contractor is “preparing to fight for export orders.” Both are signs of the King Stallion’s imminent arrival downrange after more than a decade in development.

“[This is] the most powerful helicopter the United States has ever fielded,” CH-53 program chief Marine Col. Hank Vanderborght told the audience at the annual Sea-Air-Space expo on April 9, per Military.com . “Not only the most powerful, the most modern and also the smartest.”

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