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Posted: 2/26/2006 5:46:38 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/26/2006 5:49:57 PM EDT by COLE-CARBINE]


(freebie version from janes.com)
US heavy-lift aircraft will stretch state of the art

By Bill Sweetman, IDR Aerospace & Technology Editor

The US Marine Corps (USMC) has launched development of the most powerful helicopter outside Russia, the CH-53K, to replace the 1970s-era CH-53E.

The USMC needs the CH-53K firstly because the existing CH-53E fleet is wearing out under the stress of sustained operations in the Middle East. A 1999 analysis showed that the existing fleet has a service life of 6,120 flight hours, based on fatigue at the point where the tail folds. Currently, the USMC expects the existing fleet will start to reach this point in 2011, at a rate of 15 aircraft per year.

Second, the USMC needs more heavy-lift capability to support its current doctrine of 'ship-to-objective manoeuvre' or STOM. This calls for a Marine force to launch from the ship and land, ready to fight, at an inland location of its own choice. To insert and resupply that force without a massive numerical increase in aircraft and the ships to carry them, the USMC needs a rotorcraft with approximately double the load-carrying capability of the CH-53E. The CH-53K can deliver two uparmoured High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs) rather than one, and can carry a fully equipped Light Armoured Vehicle (LAV) to the required range.

The first CH-53K should be flying before the very large Joint Heavy Lift (JHL) aircraft goes into SDD. USMC programme manager Colonel Paul Croisetiere has pointed out that JHL will not arrive in time to replace the CH-53E and has more lift capability than the service needs, and the USMC is not committed to it.

JHL does not replace anything in the current US army or air force inventory; according to a Boeing engineer on the programme "it is a new asset". The role of a 400-aircraft JHL force would be to move fully equipped units based on the Future Combat System (FCS) directly across the battlefield for distances of 300 km or more. The idea is that such a capability allows the army to deal with any situation, at any time, in a deep, fluid battlefield defined by 'islands of conflict' rather than by front lines and rear areas. It also eliminates the need to stretch units out into vulnerable road convoys.

The US Army is the lead service on JHL, which is closely tied to the Future Combat System (FCS) and the interim Stryker armoured vehicle family. So far, the main firm decisions on the JHL are that it should be able to carry FCS and Stryker units - with a nominal 20 t payload - and that it will be a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft.

Link Posted: 2/26/2006 5:47:22 PM EDT
(bonus article)
CH-53K: Programme Moving Forward As US President Signs Off

The Marines say approval of their CH-53K plans in the FY 06 defense budget allowed a recent boost in initial contract spending on system development to $22-million and likelihood of a full contract being signed earlier than thought.

A second ISDD (Initial System Development and Demonstration) phase signed with Sikorsky Aircraft recently increased amount on contract from an earlier $8.8-million.

‘We were pretty sure it was in there but you never know what the budget will contain until the President finally signs it out,’ Lt Col Jim Rector, USMC, tells rotorhub in an interview. Rector is deputy to USMC Col Paul Croisetiere, Program Manager.

‘Now that we have a five year approval cycle underway, the company can get going on competing the systems and components. And I believe we are slightly ahead of our plans for a full SDD award in late March. We could do that earlier.’

The Marines will buy 156 all-new CH-53K models under the arrangement. The new aircraft – although maintaining the current size ‘footprint’ of the CH-53E - will be more powerful with a different mission profile.

For instance, a leading KPP (key performance parameter) is the ability to carry 27,000 pounds of cargo from sea level up to 3,000 ft at 110 knots with an outside temperature is 91 deg F.

‘Put an Echo in he same scenario and you’re looking at only five to ten thousand pounds,’ Rector says.

To boost the lifter’s performance, Sikorsky will increase capacity of the entire drivetrain via new engines and gearbox, new driveline components, and increased main rotor blade lift.

For instance, a contest between Honeywell, GE, P&W and Rolls Royce will produce an applicable 6,000 shp engine candidate some time ‘in the July timeframe,’ Rector estimates.

A contract for a new cockpit should be let by this May and will also be contested between leading avionics suppliers.

The system – called an Avionics Management System – will be glass-cockpit based, and will tie in to the K model’s fly-by-wire system – a revolutionary departure for a heavy lift helicopter.

The Marines have been steadily pushing for a new lifter for some time but have been blocked by funding issues and other issues, among them V-22 politics. Marine Corps leadership did not want to stake their claim prior to full approval of the latter.

But with that program now cleared for production and out of the public spotlight, the priority of need for improvement in lift, safety, range and other performance needs facing the CH-53E fleet could be addressed.

Rector – a recent returnee from CH-53E operations in Afghanistan – said the aircraft will feed an urgent need for logistic supply.

‘People don’t realize but things are just a whole lot heavier out there than they used to be. You’ve got troops in armor, the vehicles up-armored, they need food, water and ammunition – just a lot of logistic challenges.’

The plan is to use more internal space in the Kilo for vehicles and other equipment than is utilised in the E model.

‘We’ll take out the two rows of center seats – that was how we carried 55 Marines. Those seats weren’t crashworthy anyway, so now we’ll have 30 seats and we’re going to make them crashworthy and then we’ll have the internal cargo space available.’

Interestingly the Marines – moving to ‘internalise’ operational doctrine for the V-22 - will now concentrate logistics re-supply in the –53 fleet, with the people – the troops - ‘going more by Osprey,’ Rector says.

Part of that re-orientation of logistic functions will also include the ability to hang things from three hooks outside the aircraft, as opposed to the current two.

Rector says all three hooks can be used simultaneously for distributed cargo delivery operations if needed. ‘In terms of hardware, we are sizing it for two ‘up-armored’ HUMVEES simultaneously.

On ASE (airborne survivability equipment) issues Rector says the plan is to move to some type of directed energy counter-measures (DIRCM) system and away from the current ‘conventional countermeasure suites.

Tests will begin this summer to see how a DIRCM system interacts with a CH-53E as part of a proposed competition between systems capable of dealing with infra-red and radar-based threats.

‘Important as the technology of all the improvements we’re going to make – and they’re very significant in themselves, - the most important aspect of this is the ability reduce our support and spares provisioning footprint,’ he says.

‘We have new aircraft coming – the Osprey, this, the JSF, the new Huey models – but what we don’t have is new ships. So we have to rationalize the support, reduce the maintenance, cut back the operational support burden – which is too high right now.’

Rector says the Marines see ‘on-condition’ maintenance, the applicability of a HUMS system and better maintenance diagnostics as the key.

’Sikorsky reckon they can reduce the O&S costs of the K by 60 percent – and that’s very important to us,’ he says.

-David S. Harvey

Link Posted: 2/26/2006 5:48:28 PM EDT
Fatigue where the tail folds?? Holy shit, thats a pretty signifigant failure.
Link Posted: 2/27/2006 11:02:09 AM EDT

To insert and resupply that force without a massive numerical increase in aircraft and the ships to carry them, the USMC needs a rotorcraft with approximately double the load-carrying capability of the CH-53E. The CH-53K can deliver two uparmoured High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs) rather than one, and can carry a fully equipped Light Armoured Vehicle (LAV) to the required range.


That is going to be one big puppy to carry an LAV.
Link Posted: 2/27/2006 11:05:16 AM EDT
So the V-22 is dead? I thought it was supposed to replace the 53
Link Posted: 2/27/2006 11:11:50 AM EDT

Originally Posted By COLE-CARBINE:

To insert and resupply that force without a massive numerical increase in aircraft and the ships to carry them, the USMC needs a rotorcraft with approximately double the load-carrying capability of the CH-53E. The CH-53K can deliver two uparmoured High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs) rather than one, and can carry a fully equipped Light Armoured Vehicle (LAV) to the required range.


That is going to be one big strong puppy to carry an LAV.



Fixed it for ya, it will be exactly the same size as the E model. The rotor system will be interesting to see though, they already added a 7th blade on the E from the D, and the third engine too, it will be interesting to see what blade shapes/profiles they will use on the new one.
Link Posted: 2/27/2006 11:13:38 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Specop_007:
Fatigue where the tail folds?? Holy shit, thats a pretty signifigant failure.



The tail is designed to fold for shipboard storage purposes.
Unfortunately, that point is the weak link in the fatigure chain.
Link Posted: 2/27/2006 11:16:15 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Napoleon_Tanerite:
So the V-22 is dead? I thought it was supposed to replace the 53



In addition to.

The second article said that the USMC didn't want to start working on the K until the V-22 was operational, so they didn't put that program at risk.

This really makes good sense, the airframe should be similar enough that the aircrew and maint folks can transition more easily than if it were a brand new bird.
Link Posted: 2/27/2006 11:19:18 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Napoleon_Tanerite:
So the V-22 is dead? I thought it was supposed to replace the 53



V-22 is supposed to replace the 46 in the medium role. 53's still our heavy baby and it's looks like the K will be doubling the lift capacity .
Link Posted: 2/27/2006 11:52:55 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/27/2006 11:53:10 AM EDT by COLE-CARBINE]

Originally Posted By Chairborne:

Originally Posted By COLE-CARBINE:

To insert and resupply that force without a massive numerical increase in aircraft and the ships to carry them, the USMC needs a rotorcraft with approximately double the load-carrying capability of the CH-53E. The CH-53K can deliver two uparmoured High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs) rather than one, and can carry a fully equipped Light Armoured Vehicle (LAV) to the required range.


That is going to be one big strong puppy to carry an LAV.



Fixed it for ya, it will be exactly the same size as the E model. The rotor system will be interesting to see though, they already added a 7th blade on the E from the D, and the third engine too, it will be interesting to see what blade shapes/profiles they will use on the new one.



My bad, I was thinking internal carriage, not sling load....sheesh.
Link Posted: 2/27/2006 12:01:24 PM EDT
Going to be interesting to see how they get the rotors on to the SuperHornet.
Link Posted: 2/27/2006 12:03:16 PM EDT
Long live the 53!


<-----------
Link Posted: 2/27/2006 12:05:37 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Tromatic:
Going to be interesting to see how they get the rotors on to the SuperHornet.



The SuperBug doesn't need rotors, it's so ugly it repels the ground.

Link Posted: 2/27/2006 12:10:32 PM EDT
So, who's going to build it for us? The Europeans or the Chinese?
Link Posted: 2/27/2006 12:23:51 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/27/2006 12:24:26 PM EDT by FunYun1983]

Originally Posted By photokirk:

Originally Posted By Tromatic:
Going to be interesting to see how they get the rotors on to the SuperHornet.



The SuperBug doesn't need rotors, it's so ugly it repels the ground.




If only that was true. Can you imagine how many of those ugly ass Democrates that would have floated away by now.

It must be their fat asses thats keeping them down.
Link Posted: 2/27/2006 12:30:43 PM EDT
Goddamn thats a beastly bird.
Link Posted: 2/27/2006 2:49:01 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SWS:
So, who's going to build it for us? The Europeans or the Chinese?



Sikorsky.
Link Posted: 2/27/2006 2:52:29 PM EDT

Originally Posted By COLE-CARBINE:

Originally Posted By SWS:
So, who's going to build it for us? The Europeans or the Chinese?



Sikorsky.



It'll be made in Poland?
Link Posted: 2/27/2006 2:56:33 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SWS:

Originally Posted By COLE-CARBINE:

Originally Posted By SWS:
So, who's going to build it for us? The Europeans or the Chinese?



Sikorsky.



It'll be made in Poland?



Close, it'll be made in Connecticut.
Link Posted: 2/27/2006 3:02:09 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/27/2006 3:12:28 PM EDT
The new USMC CH-53K

Link Posted: 2/27/2006 4:38:45 PM EDT
The CH-53K: An Essential Element of the Marine Corps’ Future Success

By JOHN A. PANNETON, National President

Members of Congress who want to obtain value for money should support the Marine Corps’ program to develop and build the CH-53K. The future heavy-lift helicopter will be a key element of the Corps’ contribution to the sea-basing concept to diminish U.S. reliance on other nations for access to the battlespace.

The CH-53K is to replace the CH-53E copter that transports troops, heavy weapons and materiel, providing Marine units with the operational reach to project power against critical points in littoral waters and far inland. The CH-53E is the workhorse of the Corps’ current aviation fleet. But after a quarter-century in the field, its operations and support costs have risen to an unaffordable $21,000 per flight hour, while operational availability — now about 64 percent — is dropping to unacceptable levels. Without huge investments, the inventory of mission-ready CH-53Es will drop below the needs of the Corps beginning in fiscal year 2012.

A 2003 analysis of alternatives by the consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton concluded that building the CH-53K is the most cost-effective approach, compared to the expense of buying other helicopters or upgrading the existing CH-53E fleet.

Some alternatives, such as the Army CH-47, were too large for shipboard operations. Others could not meet the Corps’ range and payload requirements. The Army is developing a concept for a potential aircraft tentatively called Joint Heavy Lift, but procurement — if it comes — lies far in the future.

At almost $19 billion for 156 copters, the new CH-53K won’t come cheap. Good hardware never does. But it will bring new capabilities to the Marine Corps. Able to carry 13.5 tons in high, hot conditions — twice the lift capacity of today’s “E” model — it will transport two armored versions of the Humvee and three times the load per sortie of the MV-22 tiltrotor aircraft, making it a prime factor in Marines’ ability to sustain troops ashore. That is vital in every tactical operation, but especially so as the Corps moves to greater reliance on sea basing.

Under the concept, Navy and Marine officials envision most logistical support and troop-staging operations being done at sea to foster more mobile and faster forces and eliminate the need to establish “iron mountains” of material or huge headquarters ashore when U.S forces are sent to increasingly less-hospitable hot spots around the world.

With its huge payload and substantial range that would provide critical “connections” between platforms at sea and troops ashore, the CH-53K will be central to the success of the sea-basing concept.

Moreover, the purchase of the new CH-53K is indicative of other procurement decisions to come as the Marine Corps resets its force for the future. The Corps has been continuously in combat since October 2001, when U.S. forces struck back at al Qaeda terrorists and routed the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. Its ground equipment is experiencing about eight times the use normally incurred during peacetime operations, and aviation hardware is rapidly wearing out, as well.

The decision to replace rather than repair major weapons — such as buying the lightweight 155mm howitzer to replace legacy howitzers — is, in most cases, the best option as the Corps deals with a continued high operational tempo and the need to keep its best equipment forward.

The Navy League strongly supports the acquisition of the CH-53K, a platform essential to the future success of the Marine Corps.

link
Link Posted: 2/27/2006 4:49:10 PM EDT

Originally Posted By COLE-CARBINE:

Originally Posted By SWS:
So, who's going to build it for us? The Europeans or the Chinese?



Sikorsky.



Except they are on strike.
Link Posted: 2/27/2006 8:54:35 PM EDT

Originally Posted By vito113:

Originally Posted By Napoleon_Tanerite:
So the V-22 is dead? I thought it was supposed to replace the 53



If you want to sling more than a crate of ass wipe paper under a V-22 you're out of luck...



15,000 pounds is a lot of asswipe, the V-22 actually has an admirable lifting capacity, just no internal volume.



Cargo hook, single, lbs (kg) -- 10,000 (4,536)
Cargo hook, dual, lbs (kg) -- 15,000 (6,147 )



www.boeing.com/rotorcraft/military/v22/v22spec.htm
Link Posted: 2/28/2006 12:59:04 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/28/2006 1:23:48 AM EDT

Originally Posted By vito113:

Originally Posted By Chairborne:

Originally Posted By vito113:

Originally Posted By Napoleon_Tanerite:
So the V-22 is dead? I thought it was supposed to replace the 53



If you want to sling more than a crate of ass wipe paper under a V-22 you're out of luck...



15,000 pounds is a lot of asswipe, the V-22 actually has an admirable lifting capacity, just no internal volume.



Cargo hook, single, lbs (kg) -- 10,000 (4,536)
Cargo hook, dual, lbs (kg) -- 15,000 (6,147 )



www.boeing.com/rotorcraft/military/v22/v22spec.htm




OK then, it can sling more ass wipe paper than it will ever need for the just two Porta-Johns it can carry in it's tiny (H-5.5ft W-5.7ft L-20.8ft ) cargo compartment.

ANdy



Absolutely true, I always thought the tiny internal volume was a result of some crazy miscalculation or something, but the thing does have some serious nuts. A ferrari doesn't have much trunk space either.
Link Posted: 2/28/2006 1:27:27 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Tromatic:

Originally Posted By COLE-CARBINE:

Originally Posted By SWS:
So, who's going to build it for us? The Europeans or the Chinese?



Sikorsky.



Except they are on strike.



I think they settled that one.
Link Posted: 2/28/2006 1:30:05 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/28/2006 1:41:43 AM EDT by vito113]
Link Posted: 2/28/2006 3:30:52 AM EDT
OK so we can't produce a larger turboshaft and use two of them? Hanging a third engine seemed a little unorthodox but it looked like multiple engines on that pic. The Russians have been producing much larger helos for years maybe we need to buy from them or license build them here? Maybe just use their rotor systems? Just thinking out loud.
Link Posted: 2/28/2006 3:32:49 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/28/2006 3:34:23 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/28/2006 3:35:41 AM EDT by ZitiForBreakfast]

Originally Posted By KA3B:
The new USMC CH-53K

www.vaq34.com/usmcch53k.jpg






There are 53's E's that have three motor's that are in inventory now, and have been.

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