The USMC’s CH-53K King Stallion project took another step in its development this week.

A “King” prototype arrived at the Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) in New River in order to allow US Marines to get a better assessment on its logistical capabilities and procedures. While the aircraft is still in its evaluation phases, this provides both the project as well as the Marines on the ground with more information, as well as input in an effort to streamline the aircraft into USMC service.

The “King” is currently still being flown by the US Navy’s assessment team (NAVAIR), which includes US Marine Corps (USMC) and Sikorsky test pilots.

Arutz Sheva had the privilege of flying a test sortie with the aircraft during its recent evaluation in West Palm Beach Florida. The “King” is currently competing for Israel’s next heavy-lift helicopter replacement for the CH-53D “Yasur.”

The first operational squadron of 53Ks is slated to stand up in New River North Carolina towards the end of the decade. Meanwhile, this prototype is giving the New River Marines a visual that they can also feel as a taste of things to come.