GE Aerospace
USMC Sikorsky CH-53K® King StallionTM heavy-lift helicopter.

GE Aerospace Supplying New USMC Helicopter Engines

May 2, 2023
Production is proceeding for the U.S. military’s largest helicopter, with 169 more T408 turboshaft engines to be supplied to power CH-53K King Stallions for the U.S. Marine Corps.

GE Aerospace has a new $683.7-million contract from the U.S. Navy Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) for a total of 169 T408 turboshaft engines, to power upcoming Sikorsky CH-53K® King Stallion heavy-lift helicopters for the U.S. Marine Corps. These engines represent the sixth, seventh and eighth production lots for those engines, based on a January 2021 contract agreement.

According to Scott Snyder, T408 program director for GE Aerospace, “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 is the current model of Sikorsky’s heavy-lift helicopter, the largest and heaviest helicopter in use by the U.S. military. The USMC has ordered a total of 200 of the helicopters under a contract valued at $25 billion.

The CH-53K is powered by three T408 engines, each one with a power rating for 7,500 shp (5,600 kW), which reportedly is 57% more powerful and 18% more fuel-efficient than the preceding GE Aerospace T64 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,” according to GE Aerospace.

The engines’ power turbines are supplied by MTU Aero Engines. GE will assemble the engines at its Lynn, Mass., manufacturing center, with parts sourced from other operations in Florida, Kentucky, New Hampshire, and Vermont.