The Marine Operational Test & Evaluation Squadron One (VMX-1) of the US Marine Corps (USMC) carried out heavy loads and troop transports from ship to land for the first time between November 19 and 21. According to a message from the US armed forces, helicopters of the type CH-53K King Stallion were used by ships of the US Navy in the Atlantic Ocean.
The USMC is currently carrying out the initial operational testing and evaluation (IOT & E) of the CH-53K, after which the troop use will be released.
The VMX-1 evaluates, among other things, the extent to which the King Stallion meets the program specifications for the Over-the-Horizon Heavy Lift capability. The helicopters have to bring the material from the ship ashore and return to the ship without refueling, covering up to 220 nautical miles on the way there and back.
The most recent tests tested the King Stallion's ability to transport an armored vehicle (LAV-25) weighing more than twelve tons from the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) to a land landing zone .
The course of the operational test of the CH-53K in the US armed forces is also being watched with interest in Europe, as the King Stallion is considered a potential candidate for the heavy transport helicopter of the German Armed Forces (STH). In this program, an important milestone is in sight.
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