The importance of the CH-53 (Yasur) helicopter to the Israeli Air Force (IAF) is exceptional.
There is no replacement for the heavy helicopter and the best proof of this is the many upgrade programmes it is undergoing in an effort to prolong its full-of-action service life.
There is always exceptional proof, and that happens today, when one of the oldest CH-53s in the IAF will resume flying after spending seven years in the junk yard.
The IAF CH-53 squadron will receive the rebuilt helicopter in a ceremony at its base.
The junk was rebuilt by the IAF’s maintenance unit 22, and according to a senior IAF source it is now in excellent shape.
The CH-53 was not only rebuilt but was also upgraded to the CH-2025 upgrade standard.
The Sikorsky CH-53 2025 upgrade includes the installation of 20 new systems, among them a very advanced EW system and a satcom system that expands the CH-53′s operational capability.
The programme also includes a unique altitude hold and hovering stabilisation system and a Laser Obstacle Ranging & Display System.
Sikorsky has supplied the IAF with specially built new main gearboxes to replace the original ones, which have been monitored closely for cracks in recent years.
All the IAF’s CH-53s were upgraded to the CH-53 2000 configuration in the 90s.
So the junk has been returned to full operational capability and will participate in the long list of missions performed by this excellent workhorse.