The U.S. Marine Corps has spent $7 billion developing a helicopter that can lift more cargo than any other military rotorcraft in the world. Called the CH-53K King Stallion, it will allow marines to quickly move armored trucks and field artillery from ship to shore in future amphibious operations. King Stallion is an obvious candidate to meet the Army’s requirement for a next-generation heavy lifter. It can satisfy almost all of the key performance criteria for the Army-led Future Vertical Lift program, and would cost a fraction of the price-tag to develop a new airframe. Since the Army has elected not to upgrade its own heavy lifter, King Stallion deserves an early look from planners who probably lack the resources to develop a successor. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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