Defense giant GE Aerospace on Thursday announced that it has been awarded a $683.7 million contract with NAVAIR for the sixth, seventh and eighth lots of T408 engines to power the U.S. Marine Corps’ most advanced heavy-lift helicopter, the Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion.
As noted by the company, this latest contract for engines and other services follows five previous contracts for T408 engines, the most recent being in January 2021. The GE Aerospace Lynn, Mass., plant will perform final assembly for the Lot 6, 7 and 8 engines which are scheduled to be delivered from 2024-2027.
“GE Aerospace is proud to build off its longstanding partnership with NAVAIR and Sikorsky to continue powering the CH-53K,” said Scott Snyder, T408 Program Director. “This additional contract represents another step forward for the T408 engine, which to date has more than 18,000 flight hours powering the CH-53K in some of the world’s harshest operating environments.”
The CH-53K – which is powered by three T408 engines – achieved Initial Operating Capability (IOC) with the U.S. Marine Corps in April 2022. The engine offers 7,500 shaft horsepower, which is 57 percent more power than its predecessor, the GE Aerospace T64. The superior capabilities offered by the T408 allow the CH-53K to perform its critical heavy-lift mission for the Marine Corps, joint forces and allies around the globe in challenging conditions.
Compared to the T64, the T408 offers 18 percent better specific fuel consumption that will deliver significant savings over the life of each engine. The T408 also has 63 percent fewer parts and advanced designs, such as a more rugged compressor with erosion coating and split casing, that improves both reliability and maintainability.
Germany-based MTU Aero Engines is a T408 program participant and is responsible for the production of the power turbine. In addition to GE Aerospace’s Lynn, Mass., plant, GE facilities in Hooksett, N.H.; Rutland, Vt.; Madisonville, Ky.; Dayton, Ohio; and Jacksonville, Fla., also provide parts for this contract.