Germany’s leading engine manufacturer and U.S.-based helicop-ter manufacturer Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company have jointly entered into an agree-ment for MTU to provide maintenance, repair and overhaul of the engines for the German Air Force with new heavy lift helicopters to replace its aging CH-53G fleet of aircraft.
Sikorsky, MTU Aero Engines and GE Aviation have been partnering on the CH-53K for the U.S. Marine Corps since its inception. This heavy lift helicopter is powered by three GE Aviation T408-GE-400 turboshaft engines, which are setting new standards worldwide. MTU Aero En-gines developed and is now in production for the power turbine of the T408. In addition to the German work share of 18 percent in the OEM engine program, MTU will support the mainte-nance, repair and overhaul for these next generation engines of the CH-53K helicopter for the German Air Force. When compared with its predecessor – the legacy T64 –, the T408 provides 57 percent more power, 18 percent better specific fuel consumption and has 63 percent few-er parts to minimize maintenance cost.
As Klaus Günther, senior vice president, defense programs at MTU, points out: “The CH-53K and its engine were developed to support the heavy-lift requirements of the 21st century and meet the highest security standards. Demonstrating reliability, unprecedented performance and impressive power reserves, the T408 engines ensure that missions can be safely carried out even in the harshest operating environments.” With its triple redundant fly-by-wire flight control system, advanced corrosion-resistant composites and unparalleled power, the helicop-ter can fly missions in extreme temperature conditions at an altitude of up to 3,000 meters. Adds Günther: “By acquiring the CH-53K Germany’s military would receive a highly-advanced system that is optimally designed for the missions of the coming decades.”
“MTU is a current teammate of the CH-53K on the U.S. program and we look to extend that rela-tionship for the German heavy lift program,” said Nathalie Previte, Sikorsky vice president of strategy and business development. “When it comes to providing Germany the most agile, re-sponsive, and streamlined helicopter service, there is no substitute for German Industry. We look forward to long and fruitful partnerships with German Industry as we support the CH-53K for many years to come.”
The CH-53K is a powerful workhorse capable of easily lifting an external load of more than 16,000 kilograms, which is more than triple the external load-carrying capacity of its predeces-sor, the CH-53G. The cabin is 31 centimeters wider than that of the competing aircraft, making the CH-53K the ideal choice for transporting more cargo or troops with fewer trips.
Sikorsky is building 200 CH-53K heavy lift helicopters for the U.S. Marine Corps, which will be delivered to the customer along with 800 T408 engines. MTU Aero Engines is developing and manufacturing the three-stage power turbine capable of producing 7,378-rated shaft horse-power (SLS 59 deg), plus the exhaust casing and output shaft. Besides developing and manu-facturing the power turbine, Germany’s leading engine manufacturer will also hold licenses for maintenance, customer support and testing.
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