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CH-46 Sea Knight

The CH-46D Sea Knight helicopter is a medium lift assault helicopter, used by the United States Navy for shipboard delivery of cargo and personnel. The CH-46E is used by the United States Marine Corps to provide all-weather, day-or-night assault transport of combat troops, supplies and equipment. Troop assault is its primary function, and the movement of supplies and equipment is secondary. Additional tasks may be assigned, such as combat support, search and rescue, support for forward refueling and rearming points, aeromedic evacuation of casualties from the field, and recovery of aircraft and personnel.


October 20th 2002: members of the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit board a CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter on USS Saipan, during beach-landing training.
Larger version

The CH-46 Sea Knight was first procured in 1964 to meet the medium-lift requirements of the United States Marine Corps in all combat and peacetime environments since that time. The Sea Knight fleet is currently being maintained until a suitable replacement is approved.

General characteristics

  • Primary Function: Medium lift assault helicopter
  • Contractor: Boeing Vertol Company
  • Power Plant: Two GE-T58-16 engines
  • Thrust: 1,770 hp
  • Length: 45 feet, 8 inches (13.89 meters) with rotors folded, 84 feet, 4 inches (25.7 meters) with rotors spread
  • Width: 51 feet (15.54 meters) with rotors spread
  • Height: 16 feet 8 inches (5.08 meters)
  • Maximum Takeoff Weight: 24,300 pounds (11,032 kg)
  • Range: 132 nautical miles (151.8 miles) for land assault mission
  • Speed: 145 knots (166.75 miles per hour)
  • Ceiling: 10,000 feet plus
  • Crew: Four: pilot, copilot, crew chief, mechanic
  • Payload:
    • Combat: max. of 22 troops and two aerial gunners
    • Medical evacuation: 15 litters, two attendants
    • Cargo: 5,000 pounds (2270 kg) maximum
  • Introduction date: January 1978



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