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military helicopters • gunships • army attack helicopters
military helicopters

CH-46E Sea Knight

The Boeing CH-46E Sea Knight is a medium-lift helicopter in service with the United States Marine Corps (USMC), where it is used as an assault support helicopter. It's primary role is the transport of US Marines into battle, often airlifting them directly from amphibious assault ships to the combat zone.

vh-46 sea knight
USMC CH-46E Sea Knight

A secondary role is the transport of supplies which it can haul in its cabin or in underslung loads. Before it was replaced with SH-60 Sea Hawks, the US Navy used Ch-46s in the 'vertical replenishment' role - hauling supplies to and from ships amongst the fleet.

Like its larger brother, the CH-47 Chinook, the CH-46'd design features a tandem rotor design, which provides a great deal of lift and also eliminates the need for a tail rotor, allowing for a greater cabin capacity. The downside of the design for the CG-36 is that the top-heavy helicopter has a tendency to capsize completely when ditched into the water.

The ageing fleet of CH-46s within the USMC are earmarked for eventual replacement by the MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft.

U.S. DoD video by Spc. Brain Zeisler | released to public domain

CH-46E Sea Knight Specifications

CH-46 fast-rope
US Maritime Special Purpose Force Marines fast-rope down from the CH-46's belly-hatch and rear ramp.
Crew 4 - Pilot, Co-pilot & 1 - crew chief & 1 door-gunner / observer
Engines 2 Two General Electric T58-GE-15 1,869 hp engines
Dimensions L - 13.92m
W (rotorspan) - 16.00m
H - 5.1m
Weights 5,100 kg (empty)
9,707 kg (max loadout)
Max Speed 256 kph
Range 996 km
Armament 1 gun port for :
M2 .50 machine gun
Avionics AN/ARC-182 HF/UHF/VHF communications
AN/ARC-210 UHF/VHF AM/FM communications
AN/AYQ-23 GPWS (Ground Proximity Warning System)
AN/AVS-7 Aviator's Night Vision System/Head-Up Display
AN/ALQ-157 - IR countermeasures
AN/APN-171 Radar Altimeter
AN/APN-174 Station-keeping Sub System
AN/APN-182 Doppler Navigation
AN/APN-217 Doppler Navigation Sensor
AN/ARN-148 Omega Navigation System
AN/ASQ-177 PLRS (Position Location Reporting System)

ch-46 .50 machine gun
For landing zone (LZ) suppression and self defence, the CH-46E is armed with a .50 M2 machine gun.
ch-36 ramp
The hydraulic rear ramp allows for rapid mounting and dismounting of Marines and stores.
  • capacity for up to 25 fully-laden Marines
  • strengthened undercarriage for carrier operations
  • sling for transport of up to 2,200lbs of cargo
  • cockpits compatible with night-vision-goggles (NVGs)

ch-46 delivering troops
USMC CH-46Es deliver, en masse, squads of South Korean Marines during a joint exercise.
U.S. DOD photo by MC1 JEREMY L. WOOD

CH-46E Sea Kinght resources :
CH-46e Sea KnightCH-46e Sea KnightCH-46e Sea Knight - Marines fast-ropingCH-46e Sea Knight - Firing Flares
(click thumbnail for fullsize image)
photo gallery : CH-46E Sea Knights
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