The Marine Corps’ new CH-53K is a mess. This is why its operational date could face delays. | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


The Marine Corps’ new CH-53K is a mess. This is why its operational date could face delays.

The Corps took delivery of its first CH-53 King Stallion in May 2018, but since then the heavy-lift helicopter has faced a series of mechanical issues that are impacting its expected operational date.

A Defense Department report said the CH-53K’s initial operational capability milestone, originally set for December 2019, would likely be pushed back, and that the aircraft’s initial operational test and evaluation will not kickoff until 2021 to correct multiple “design deficiencies” found during testing.

However, the Corps still expects that its most powerful heavy-lift helicopter will make its first planned operational deployment, which slated sometime in 2023–2024, according to Marine spokesman Capt. Christopher Harrison.

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