New footage has emerged of the US Marine Corps’ future heavy-lifting helicopter hoisting a hefty external payload of about 36,000 pounds.
Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, founded by Russian-American Igor Sikorsky in 1923, has been working on fielding the CH-53K King Stallion for the Marines to “serve as its critical land and sea based logistics coordinators,” according to the company, which was acquired by Lockheed Martin in 2015. The Marines plan to buy 200 King Stallions.
And if that doesn’t wet your whistle, in the comments section on YouTube, one Russian poster referred viewers to a Russian Mi-26 heavy-lifter toting a Tupolev Tu-134 airliner, which weighs approximately 61,000 pounds.
Similar to the other US military programs like the USS Gerald Ford aircraft carrier and stealthy F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter, the King Stallion program has ballooned well beyond its projected costs.
Rep. Nikki Tsongas (D-MA), the highest-ranking Democrat on the House Armed Services Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee, asserted last April that the flyaway cost for each King Stallion ballooned from $87 million to $122 million which, “multiplied by 200, is a heck of a lot of money.”