The US Marine Corps (USMC) Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion heavy-lift helicopter performed its first sea trials during a two-week period in early June over the Atlantic Ocean, according to a US Navy (USN) statement.
Testing took place on the USS
, a landing helicopter dock (LHD) amphibious assault ship. The sea trials are a series of tests to evaluate the performance of the aircraft at sea.
The US Marine Corps (USMC) Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion heavy-lift helicopter performed sea trials during a two-week period in early June over the Atlantic Ocean. (US Marine Corps)
The tests performed included launch and recovery, rotor start and shutdown, and shipboard compatibility testing – all in increasing wind speed and varying wind directions relative to the aircraft. Most of the testing involved launch and recovery.
USN spokesperson Megan Wasel said on 26 June that the testing team, in addition to launch and recovery envelope expansion, performed a wide range of shipboard compatibility tests. These included interfacing with shipboard refuelling and external electrical power systems.
They also included performing maintenance while aboard the ship, ensuring the helicopter fitted in all the locations necessary around the ship deck and hangar, and evaluating chain and tie-down procedures. The aircraft executed 364 ship landings and take-offs from all nine deck spots during the two-week trials.