The CH-53E Super Stallion (aka S-80E) is a heavy cargo helicopter developed by Sikorsky Aircraft of the USA.
The Super Stallion first took flight in 1974 and was officially introduced in 1981.
The CH-53E was designed and manufactured specifically for the United States Navy. It is the answer to the need for mass cargo transport and long-range minesweeping. Minesweeping duties are performed by the MH-53E Sea Dragon variant.
The Super Stallion is the largest and heaviest helicopter the US has. It is also the largest helicopter in the Western world. In the world only a few helicopters are larger, such as the Mil Mi-6, Mi-10, Mi-26.
The Super Stallion is based on the tried-and-tested CH-53 Sea Stallion. Major changes include adding a third engine, a seventh rotor blade and moving the tail rotor by 20 degrees.
It is equipped with three General Electric T64-GE-416/416A turboshaft engines. Each produces a staggering 4380 shaft horsepower.
The lift and cargo capacity of the Super Stallion is immense. It can carry as many as 55 troops or alternatively thirty thousand pounds of cargo internally. It can carry much as thirty-six thousand pounds if the load is external and underslung. While the range of the Sea Stallion is over 600 miles, it can refuel in mid-flight.
The Sea Stallion was produced from 1978 into the 1980s. In total 234 of these gargantuan helicopters have been built and they remain in service today with the main users being the US Marines, Navy and Japanese Self-Defence Force.
In recent history the Super Stallion has played a pivotal role in Middle Eastern conflicts during the 2000s, as it did in the 90s. It’s also notable that when other large transport helicopters such as the CH-47 Chinook need to be recovered, it will be a Sea Stallion coming to the rescue.