GE Aviation’s largest turboshaft engine just hit a major milestone.
On September 30th, GE Aviation’s Lynn plant delivered the first production T408 engine for the Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion helicopter to the U.S. Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR). The T408 is a key military engine program for GE Aviation and the Lynn site. The three-engine CH53K will serve as the U.S. Marine Corps critical land and sea-based logistics connector. The new heavy-lifter will allow the USMC and international militaries to move troops and equipment from ship to shore, and to higher altitude terrain more quickly and effectively than its predecessor aircraft.
“We are honored to meet this milestone in support of the CH-53K program,” said Linda Smith, T408 Program Director at GE Aviation. “We have a dedicated team that is focused on delivering the improved capabilities of the T408. Delivering our first production engine is a crucial step forward.”
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.
In August, GE Aviation was awarded a $143 million contract with NAVAIR for the third lot of T408 Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP) engines to power the USMC’s most advanced heavy-lift helicopter. This follows an initial LRIP 1 and 2 contract that was awarded in November 2017. GE Aviation recently opened a new general assembly and prep-to-ship area dedicated for the T408 engine at its facility in Lynn to support delivery.
“With each successive production lot, we move closer to full-rate production of the T408, which will deliver unprecedented performance to the U.S. Marine Corps for decades to come,” Smith said.
To date, the T408 engine has operated extremely well and has demonstrated exceptional performance retention for more than 1,500 flight hours and 8,000 hours of engine operating time on aircraft.
GE Supply Chain facilities in Hooksett, N.H.; Rutland, Vt.; Madisonville, Ky., Dayton, Ohio, and Jacksonville, Fla. will all provide parts for this contract. MTU Aero Engines is a program participant responsible for the development and production of the power turbine.