They say logistics wins wars. If that is the case the USMC is pretty tough force to beat. This photo shows a CH-53E Super Stallion sling loading a HUMVEE while aerial refueling from a KC-130T Hercules during a recent Weapons Tactics Instructor exercise out of MCAS Yuma, Arizona.
This is no dog and pony show, even for the giant and super maneuverable CH-53 family of choppers, sling-loading outsized cargo drastically reduces a helicopter’s range. This is especially the case when that helicopter has three thirsty T64 gas turbine engines pumping out a combined 13,140 horsepower. Thus practicing aerial refueling under sling-load conditions is essential.
The CH-53E Super Stallion can sling-load up to 32,000 pounds, which is pretty amazing, but its upcoming replacement, the CH-53K King Stallion can carry sling-loaded cargo over much greater distances un-refueled. For instance, it can carry double the CH-53E’s payload, or 27,500 pounds, over the same 110 mile radius. Additionally, its 22,500 horsepower allows for a maximum under-slung load capacity of 35,000 pounds. You can read all about the King Stallion here.
Although carrying a single Hummer is pretty impressive, this shot of a pair of CH-53Es carrying a pair of Hummers each while refueling behind a MC-130P Combat Shadow, takes the cake when it comes to wow-factor:
Photos via USMC/DoD
Tyler Rogoway is a defense journalist and photographer who maintains the website Foxtrot Alpha for Jalopnik.com You can reach Tyler with story ideas or direct comments regarding this or any other defense topic via the email address Tyler@Jalopnik.com