We all know a little bit about the world’s largest airplanes but what about the helicopters? What are currently the world’s largest military helicopters with massive transport capabilities?
For our readers, we have today made a list of the top 10 largest military helicopters in the world. The list we present does not include the helicopters that are currently under manufacturing by the military. Instead, this is a list that contains the helicopters that are in active duty or are ready for active service.
So without further wait, here is our list of the top 10 largest military transport helicopters in the world.
The helicopter which is dubbed as the largest military transport helicopter in the world is the Mil Mi-26. The helicopter is also given a nickname as Halo by its western users. This large-sized transport helicopter is being used by nearly 20 countries for transport.
The helicopter entered the design and manufacturing process back in the 70s and the first model was ready for active service by 1983. The helicopter’s payload lifting capacity is equal to that of a C-130 transport aircraft. The helicopter is able to hold in either the seating for 80 soldiers or stretchers for 80 people. In some cases, it can also transport nearly 150 soldiers.
The maximum payload capacity of this helicopter is about 25000 kilograms.
CH-53K King Stallion
Second, in line is the CH-53K King Stallion; a helicopter specifically designed in order to fulfill the requirements of the US Marine Corps. The helicopter is an improvement on the previous Russian built CH-53E Super Stallion and was first available for active duty back in 2014 and is regarded as the largest helicopter to be in use of US military.
The maximum payload capacity of the CH-53K King Stallion is about 15.9 tons meaning it can carry a maximum of 37 troops. For comparison, it can also lift any of the following payloads.
- 1 LAV Armored vehicle
- M198 155 mm field Howitzer
The unique style transport helicopter named CH-47 Chinook was designed to serve the transport purposes of the US military and made its first flight in 1961 while being ready for active duty in 1962. Since the first model was available for duty, more than 1160 of these helicopters have been produced with many being authorized under manufacturing license in Japan as well as in Italy.
The helicopter is able to accommodate a maximum of 44 troops and has the maximum payload carrying capacity of 10300 kilograms inside while 11300 kilograms outside with help of external hooks.
Well, the V-22 Osprey cannot be called a helicopter because it is the world’s first functioning tiltrotor. This means that this aircraft has the vertical payload lifting capability of the helicopter while having the speed of a fixed-wing turboprop aircraft. The aircraft is being sued by the following parts of the US military since the very first model was made available in 2001.
- US Army
- Marine Corps
The aircraft can easily accommodate a total of 24 troops as well as the total payload carrying capacity of 9000 externally and 6800 kilograms internally.
Being a tiltrotor aircraft, it is equipped for the in-flight refueling ability.
The Mi-38 helicopter is actually designed to not only serve military transport needs but also that of civil customers. The aircraft is designed in order to replace the aging Mi-8 and Mi-17 helicopters. The helicopter was ready for a small scale ruction back in 2017 and the first helicopter was delivered to Russian military back in 2018.
The helicopter has the ability to transport nearly 32 troops for transportation. As for its payload carrying capabilities, it can lift a total of 5000 kilograms internally while externally it can lift up to 7000 kilograms.
The Eurocopter EC725 Super Cougar or Caracal which is now renamed as Airbus Helicopters is one of the very best long-range tactically support transport military helicopters in the world. The helicopter was specially designed to fulfill the transport needs of the French Air Force for both their combat search as well as rescue operations. Since the delivery of the first helicopter back in 2005, the following countries now also have this helicopter into their active service.
The helicopter is able to easily transport 28 troops. As for payload carrying capacity, it can carry 5670 kilograms internally while externally it can lift 4500 kilograms.
The Changhe Z-18 is the Chinese military’s new transport helicopter which is a product of the efforts from Changhe Aircraft Industry Group. This is the largest ever manufactured military transport helicopter in China. The helicopter was manufactured to replace the aging older generation Z-8 helicopter.
The helicopter has a redesigned fuselage system which allows it to have more space as compared to the Z-8. The Changhe Z-18 is able to transport 27troops. As for its payload carrying capacity, it can lift a total of 4000 kilograms internally while externally it can lift nearly 5000 kilograms.
The AugustaWestland AW101 was developed to be a Navy utility helicopter of modern standards. The helicopter is an improved version of the helicopter named Eurocopter Industries EH101. The helicopter is a byproduct of a collaboration between the Augusta company from Italy and the Westland Helicopters company from the UK. Both these companies have now merged to form the AugustaWestland and now this helicopter has been renamed as AugustaWestland AW101.
The helicopter can easily accommodate and transport 26 soldiers while it has a payload carrying capacity in between 4000 to 5000 kilograms which can be either carried inside or outside via slung.
Mil Mi-8 is one of the mass-produced and efficient military transport helicopters in the world. Nearly 7300 of these bad boys were manufactured and delivered since 1961. The helicopter with its many variants in the market is being sold to nearly 60 countries across the world.
The standard variant of this helicopter Mi-8T is able to transport 24 troops while it has a payload carrying capacity of 4000 kilograms internally and 3000 kilograms externally.
Back in 1985, 5 of the European Nations made a collaboration to develop a helicopter for the early 90s. The helicopter was named as NH90. However, UK then dropped out of this programme leaving behind the following countries to complete the project under the NH Industries.
The helicopter to this date is in active service of these countries for the following missions.
- Assault transport
- Electronic warfare
- VIP transport
The helicopter can easily transport nearly 20 troops. As for its payload carrying capacity, it can lift a total of 2000 kilograms internally while externally it can lift 4200 kilograms.