DH - Defence Helicopter

GE Aviation receives T408 LRIP contract

22nd November 2017 - 12:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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GE Aviation has received a $140 million low-rate initial production (LRIP) contract from the US Naval Air Systems Command to build 22 T408-GE-400 engines to power the US Marine Corps' CH-53K King Stallion helicopter, the company announced on 17 November.

LRIP was approved in April 2017 by the Defense Acquisition Board.

This contract supports a 2019 initial operating capability programme milestone including logistics support, technical publications and organic support development.

Three 7,378-rated shaft horsepower T408 engines will provide the power for the King Stallion helicopter, enabling the aircraft to carry a 27,000lbs external load over a mission radius of 110 nautical miles in navy high/hot weather conditions. This will be three-times the current external load carrying capacity of the CH-53E Super Stallion, powered by GE Aviation's T64 engine.

The T408 engines provide over 57% more power, 18% better specific fuel consumption and 63% fewer parts than the T64 engine. The T408 also features a rugged compressor design to increase durability and resistance to sand erosion and salt water corrosion.

The T408 system development and demonstration phase delivered one core demonstrator engine, five factory test engines and 20 flight test engines to the CH-53K programme. According to GE Aviation, the engine has exceeded 8,500 hours of testing, including more than 4,500 hours in the factory and nearly 4,000 operating hours in the ground test vehicle and four flight test vehicles.

The CH-53K programme of record is for 200 aircraft.

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