How It Is Possible That the Marines' CH-53K King Stallion Helicopter Costs More Than the F-35?

Jared Keller

Key point: At least the F-35 was a powerful stealth fighter, but the Marines' new helicopter costs more and has tons of problems. What happens if they can't fix all of its problems?

The Pentagon believes that the Marine Corps' new CH-53K King Stallion heavy-lift helicopter — which at, $144 million apiece, costs more than the notoriously expensive F-35A Lightning II joint strike fighter, is "the most powerful helicopter the United States has ever fielded."

Unfortunately, the pricey helo may not see action downrange anytime soon due to a growing list of worrying technical problems.

The King Stallion, which first landed in the hands of Marines back in May 2018, may not achieve initial operational capability (IOC) as soon as Navy officials originally expected, officials told Vertical Magazine in a Jan. 10 interview first noticed by our friends at The War Zone.

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