One of GE’s newest military engines is now transitioning into production to support a key aircraft and mission.
GE Aviation held a ribbon-cutting ceremony at its Lynn, Mass., plant on Dec. 11 to mark the opening of the new T408 engine general assembly and prep-to-ship area.
In 2006, the T408 was selected to power the three-engine CH-53K King Stallion, the U.S. Marine Corps new heavy-lift helicopter. In late 2017, GE the U.S. Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) awarded GE Aviation a $143M Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP) contract to build 22 T408-GE-400 engines.
In addition to Lynn, GE Supply Chain facilities in Hooksett, NH; Rutland, VT; Madisonville, KY; Dayton, OH and Jacksonville, FL are all providing parts for this engine.
The business invested in the retrofit of an existing building, and a cross-functional team collaborated on the design to create the ideal space to accommodate assembly of this new turboshaft powerplant.
“This transformed facility is the result of terrific teamwork and collaboration within the site,” said Combustion & Structural Components Value Stream leader Matt O’Connell. “The T408 is an important new engine line for the Supply Chain and the Lynn plant.”
“This represents an exciting new chapter for our military business,” said Linda Smith, T408 Program Director. “We’re ready to begin a multi-year engine production run in support of the CH-53K helicopter.”
Capable of producing more than 7,500 shaft horsepower, the T408 combines breakthrough technologies, innovative cooling schemes and modern-day durability to deliver numerous mission-critical advantages in the world’s harshest operating environments. It is rugged, simpler and more sand-tolerant than any engine in its class and offers dramatic gains in fuel efficiency and power. Most importantly, the engine was developed for the “maintainer,” and will offer significant maintenance savings.
The T408 gives the CH-53K helicopter the power to carry a 27,000-pound external load over a mission radius of 110 nautical miles in hot weather conditions, nearly triple the external load carrying capacity of current aircraft.