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MH-53E Sea Dragon

The MH-53E is used primarily for Airborne Mine Countermeasures (AMCM), with secondary missions of vertical shipboard delivery and assault support. It incorporates Global Positioning System (GPS), Doppler radar, and an Approach/Hover/Tow Coupler. Communications include Ultra High Frequency (UHF)/ Very High Frequency (VHF)/ High Frequency (HF) radios, secure communications capability, and Identified Friend or Foe (IFF).
The MH-53 can operate from carriers and other warships and is capable of towing a variety of mine hunting/sweeping countermeasures systems, including the Mk 105 magnetic minesweeping sled, the AQS-14A side-scan sonar, and the Mk 103 mechanical minesweeping system. When performing the assault support mission, the MH-53E can be fitted with the GAU-21 .50-cal. machine gun ramp-mounted weapon system.
The MH-53E was derived from the CH-53E Super Stallion and is heavier and has a greater fuel capacity than its ancestor. Currently the program is executing an in-service sustainment strategy to ensure continued AMCM and heavy-lift support to the sea base until the transition to the Littoral Combat Ship mine countermeasures mission package is complete. The sustainment strategy addresses fatigue, obsolescence, readiness, and safety issues. A fatigue life extension program has been completed, which extended the aircraft service life to 10,000 hours, enabling the Navy to maintain a dedicated AMCM capability through the 2025 timeframe.
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Patuxent River, MD 20670-1547
General Characteristics
Contractor: Sikorsky Aircraft, a Lockheed Martin Company
Propulsion: Three T64-GE-419 turboshaft engines (4,750 shaft horsepower each)
Length: Fuselage: 73 feet 4 inches (22 meters); Overall: 99 feet 0.5 inches (30.2 meters)
Height: 28 feet 4 inches (8.6 meters)
Rotor Diameter: 79 feet (24.1 meters)
Weight: Max. Gross weight, w/ external load: 69,750 lbs (31,693 kg)
Max. Gross weight, w/internal load: 69,750 lbs (31,693 kg)
Empty weight: 36,745 lbs (16,667 kg)
Airspeed: Max: 150 knots (278 km/hour)
Ceiling: 10,000 feet
Range: Max: 1050 nautical miles
Crew: Two pilots, one aircrewman
Load: 55 troops or 32,000 pounds (14,512 kg) cargo
Last Update: 5 February 2019
Photo:  An MH-53E Sea Dragon helicopter lands aboard the USS Essex (LHD 2)