CH-46 Sea Knight

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Product Type:

Medium-Lift Transport Helicopter

Using Service (US):

Marine Corps (USMC)

Program Status:


Prime Contractor:

Airframe: Vertol (The Boeing Company)
Engines: General Electric Co.

The CH-46 Sea Knight

About the CH-46:

The now retired Vertol (Boeing) CH-46/HH-46 Sea Knight, commonly known as the "Phrog", is a medium-lift tandem rotor transport helicopter. It was used by the U.S. Marine Corps to provide all-weather, day-or-night transport of combat troops, supplies and equipment. The Sea Knight can carry up to 25 combat equipped troops and is powered by two General Electric T58-GE-16A turboshaft engines with 1,870 shp each. Originally designed as a commercial helicopter, the CH-46 made its first flight in August 1962. In 1964, the CH-46 made its combat debut performing assault support, cargo and search and rescue missions for the Marine Corps in Vietnam having replaced the H-34 helicopter.

The original design service life was estimated at 10,000 hours, however, it was subsequently extended to 12,500 hours in 1992 and 15,000 hours in 1996. Prior to the official retirement on August 1, 2015, the H-46 fleet was gradually being retired from service and replaced by the Sikorsky MH-60S Seahawk Fleet Combat Support Helicopter aka Knighthawk and the MV-22 Osprey.


The CH-46 Sea Knight can be equipped with two XM218 .50 caliber BMG (12.7mm) machine guns and one ramp mounted M240G 7.62mm machine gun.


The CH-46E Sea Knight helicopter provided all-weather, day-or-night assault transport of combat troops, supplies and equipment. Troop assault was the primary function and the movement of supplies and equipment was secondary. Additional tasks included combat support, search and rescue, support for forward refueling and rearming points, aeromedical evacuation of casualties from the field and recovery of aircraft and personnel.

FY 2017 DoD Program:

No funding. The CH-46 was officially retired on August 1, 2015.

FY 2018 DoD Program:

No funding. The CH-46 was officially retired on August 1, 2015.

Source: U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), The Boeing Company,
and General Electric Co.

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