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GE Delivers First Production T408 for Heavy-Lift CH-53K

October 28, 2019 | by Nick Hurm and Rich Gorham

GE Aviation’s largest turboshaft engine just hit a major milestone.

On September 30, 2019, 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. The three-engine CH-53K 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.

Manufacturing the T408 takes a global team, which includes Germany’s MTU Aero Engines. MTU is a program participant on the T408, responsible for the development and manufacture of the power turbine.  MTU will also provide T408 engine maintenance and on-site support for the STH (Heavy Lift Helicopter) in Germany.

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. To date, the T408 engine has operated extremely well and has demonstrated exceptional performance retention.

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GE Aerospace is a world-leading provider of jet and turboprop engines, as well as integrated systems for commercial, military, business and general aviation aircraft.