A heavy-lift cargo helicopter, the CH-53K was first put into service this past April.


The Director General of Israel’s Ministry of Defense, Major General (Ret.) Amir Eshel, who is on a working visit to the US, visited the Lockheed Martin-Sikorsky factories in Stratford, Connecticut on Monday and toured the production line of the CH-53K helicopter that Israel is procuring.

So far, the Ministry of Defense has purchased 12 helicopters for the Israel Air Force which will replace old attack helicopters currently in use.

A heavy-lift cargo helicopter, the CH-53K was first put into service this past April.

According to Lockheed Martin, the CH-53K King Stallion advances Sikorsky’s 50 years of manufacturing and operational success with its CH-53A, CH-53D/G, and CH-53E predecessors. Built to thrive on the modern battlefield, including shipboard operations, Lockheed boasts that the CH-53K aircraft is designed to be intelligent, reliable, low maintenance and survivable in the most austere and remote forward operating bases.

The CH-53K helicopter has been designed and built to the exacting standards of the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) and will serve as its critical land and sea based logistics connector. The new heavy lifter will allow the U.S. Marine Corps and international militaries to move troops and equipment from ship to shore, and to higher altitude terrain, more quickly and effectively than ever before.

Israel is the second country, after the US, to purchase the most advanced transport helicopter of its kind in the world. The production process of the helicopters for the Israeli Air Force will begin in the coming months.

During the visit, CEO Eshel, accompanied by the head of the procurement delegation in the USA, Brigadier General (Res.) Michel Ben-Baruch met with Sikorsky President Paul Lemo and CEO of Lockheed Martin Israel, Brigadier General (Res.) Yehoshua (Shiki) Shani and discussed with them the progress of the project and collaborations with Israeli defense industries.