The H-53 series aircraft built by Sikorsky includes the CH-53 Sea Stallion (shown here), a two-engine heavy-lift helicopter; the Sikorsky MH-53 Pave Low and Sikorsky HH-53 Super Jolly Green Giant, upgraded helicopters with more powerful engines, improved avionics and armament used for combat search and rescue and special operations; the Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion and Sikorsky MH-53E Sea Dragon, a heavier version of the CH-53 Sea Stallion with a third engine and a seventh blade added to the main rotor, and a tail rotor canted 20 degrees. It’s used for long range mine sweeping or airborne mine countermeasures. The final installment of the series will be the Sikorsky CH-53K Super Stallion, currently in development, with composite rotor blades, a wider cabin, and modernized systems.

GE Aviation Takes Two U.S. Navy Contracts Totaling $175 Million

Oct. 11, 2015
Repair, services on T64, T700 engines for USN and USMC heavy-lift helicopters "Repair of repairables" contract Performance based logistics Linking Navy readiness centers, GE Aviation plants, GE Supply Chain operations

The U.S. Navy placed a two-year, $94.6-million contract with GE Aviation for repair and service in support of the T64 engine that powers the H-53 heavy-lift aircraft series. The deal is effective for FY 2016-2017, and links GE Aviation to the U.S. Navy’s Fleet Readiness Center East at Cherry Point, N.C. for repair and overhaul of 100% of the engine parts.

Separately, GE Aviation logged a new, three-year U.S. Navy contract valued at $79.6 million to handle “performance-based logistics” for a series of parts related to GE T700-401 and T700-401C engines.

The General Electric T64 is a free-turbine turbo-shaft engine developed for helicopters, and in service for more than 50 years. It’s currently in service on several helicopter series, aircraft designed by Lockheed Martin, de Havilland Canada, and Sikorsky Aircraft, the latter being the helicopters in service for the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps. Helicopters to be covered by the contract include the USMC CH-53E Super Stallion and U.S. Navy MH-53E Sea Stallion.

Each of those aircraft is powered by three T64 engines. The U.S. Dept. of Defense has taken delivery of over 1,300 T64 engines since it was introduced in 1964, and those units have accumulated more than 4 million engine flight hours to date, according to GE Aviation.

GE Aviation soon will complete qualification testing of the GE38-1B turbo shaft engine for use in the new CH-53K King Stallion heavy-lift helicopter, being developed by Sikorsky. The first flight of that aircraft is scheduled for late this year at Sikorsky’s Flight Development Center in West Palm Beach, Fla.

The new deal is described as a “repair of repairables” contract covering the repair and program support for 17 “heads of family” parts and 33 contract line items in support of T64 engines. The contract follows and builds on previous T64 ROR contracts, May 2006. Procurement arrangement is based on a firm, fixed-price contract for a forecasted volume of Head of Family repairs.

In addition to working with the Navy’s Fleet Readiness Center East, the GE Aviation plant at Lynn, Mass., and GE Supply Chain operations in Rutland, Vt., and Madisonville, Ken., will provide parts for the contract, along with other suppliers.

The second contract concerns the T700-401 and T700-401C engine, which are turboshaft and turboprop engines installed in Boeing AH-64 Apache and Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk and SH-60 Seahawk helicopters.

PBL contracts are structured so that the supplier is responsible for the repairs and service to the relevant equipment or system, as well as the supply of parts and materials. It’s an approach that transfers some responsibility for material readiness to the contractor, and is expected to yield some cost savings to the Defense Dept. while protecting the supplier’s profit margin.

The T700 PBL runs through FY 2016-2018 and covers four HOF line items in support of the T700-401 and T700-401C engine. It follows a series of T700 PBL contracts dating to September 2004. Procurement is based on a monthly, firm fixed-price for receiving, asset repair, warehousing, inventory management, packing, shipping, EDI requisitioning, and commercial asset visibility reporting transactions.

GE Aviation is partnered with GE Engine Services at Strother Field, Winfield, Kan., for repairs under this PBL contract. GE plants in Lynn, Mass., Hooksett N.H., and Madisonville, Ken., will provide new spare parts supporting this PBL contract in addition to other key suppliers.

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