The U.S. Marine Corps recently showcased the capabilities of its CH-53K King Stallion, the most powerful helicopter in the American arsenal, by transporting an F-35C Lightning II airframe between test sites in Maryland and New Jersey.

On April 24th, Marine Test and Evaluation Squadron 1 (VMX-1) conducted this operation, flying the inoperable F-35C airframe from the F-35 Integrated Test Force at Patuxent River, Maryland, to a Navy unit at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey.

The airframe, which was without mission and propulsion systems, outer wings, or additional equipment, was transported to the Prototype, Manufacturing and Test (PMT) Department of the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) Lakehurst for future emergency recovery systems testing.

The operation demonstrated the CH-53K’s substantial lift capabilities, which are currently approved for up to 36,000 lbs, nearly three times the lift capacity of its predecessor, the CH-53E Super Stallion.

Lieutenant Colonel Adam Horne, the lead pilot and officer in charge of the CH-53 Detachment at VMX-1, emphasised the significance of this mission for the Marine Corps and the joint force in a press release. He stated, “I just think this is a great opportunity for the Marine Corps, the joint force, and the world to see that the Marine Corps has a capability that no other force in the world has, in this case, CH-53K.”

During the operation, which started just after 11 a.m., the CH-53K also demonstrated its aerial refuelling capabilities with a KC-130T Hercules.

Marine Sergeant Joe Padilla, who played a safety role during the operation, highlighted the significance of the lift for his team and was quoted in a press release: “Our team has been looking for something challenging, something big for us … and I think the best part was being able to accomplish our team’s dreams,” he remarked.

This mission not only demonstrated the operational capabilities of the CH-53K King Stallion but also underscored the importance of inter-service and inter-agency collaboration in achieving complex objectives.

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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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DeeBee
DeeBee (@guest_816083)
24 days ago

Impressive stuff, I’m off to Cosford airshow next month, a new display by the Reds & apparently a new display by the Typhoon, should be good!

John Clark
John Clark (@guest_816108)
24 days ago
Reply to  DeeBee

Hooked into the basket with a swinging lateral load suspended below, what could possibly go wrong here🫣😬😖.

Something only to be undertaken in the most benign of conditions, if ever in the real world…..

DeeBee
DeeBee (@guest_816109)
24 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

Agree, I think they’re just showing off, but still pretty impressive, you reckon the RAF Could do the same?

Andrew D
Andrew D (@guest_816127)
24 days ago
Reply to  DeeBee

I think it’s a case we have the talent but not the capability

Andrew D
Andrew D (@guest_816126)
24 days ago
Reply to  DeeBee

Agreed it is impressive, enjoy the Air show I believe the Typhoon is in a new camouflage from an old Typhoon from WW2 🇬🇧

Rich359v
Rich359v (@guest_816191)
23 days ago
Reply to  Andrew D

Yes DDay pattern. I am looking forward to it.

NorthernAlly
NorthernAlly (@guest_816112)
24 days ago

Is this the helicopter equivalent of patting your head and rubbing your stomach?

Paul T
Paul T (@guest_816134)
24 days ago

Which proves the saying ‘Where there’s a will there’s a way ‘ 😉

Toan
Toan (@guest_816184)
23 days ago

Blackout: Decepticon, Fusion !!

Starscream: Wait a minute !! Why do I, as a born leader of the Decepticon, suffer the abuse of crane tail ! ?

Megatron: Shut your mouth! ! Starscream, I’ve been reincarnated from a cool spaceship to a stupid tanker and I’m not complaining. Why are you dissatisfied?

Frank62
Frank62 (@guest_816279)
23 days ago

Seriously impressive. Shame our embarked Wildcats can’t even carry AShMs.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_816328)
22 days ago
Reply to  Frank62

Sea Venom and Martlet?

Frank62
Frank62 (@guest_816373)
22 days ago

Oops, My bad thanks Daniele. I meant Merlins, not Wildcats!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_816544)
21 days ago
Reply to  Frank62

Thought so. You’re too knowledegable for that rookie error!

DH
DH (@guest_816518)
21 days ago

Yeh, been doing it for years, yawn. Wondering how much that operation costs? 😳…. Ta for the pics George 👌👍