CH-53K King Stallion Shows Off Its Lifting Power By Sling-Loading An F-35 Lightening
On Dec. 13, A USMC Ch-53K King Stallion demonstrated its lifting capabilities by lifting a disabled F-35C Lightening II fighter jet. The lift was performed as well as filmed and photographed at Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River in Maryland. The F-35 being lifted happens to be the Navy's first F-35 prototype, which made its first flight in 2010. The CH-53K is an upgraded variant of the CH-53E, which first entered service in 1981. The -53K variant didn't become operational for the USMC until April 2022, with Sikorsky beginning full production in Dec. 2022. The Marine Corps purchased 200 of the heavy-lift tri-engine helicopter, and is expecting full operation capacity in 2029. Sikorsky, now a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin, says the -53K has a max payload of 36,000 pounds. The F-35 was partially gutted prior to lift, missing the outboard section of the wings as well as the engine. Photos and videos of the lift were just released on Jan. 23. Video can be found below!