LYNN, Massachusetts --- Sikorsky Aircraft, a United Technologies Corp. company, has selected GE Aviation's GE38-1B turboshaft engine to power the U.S. Marine Corps' CH-53K heavy-lift helicopter.
The GE38-1B engine development will use a similar architecture to the popular T700 engine, with proven technologies derived from GE's commercial and military engine product lines. Capable of producing more than 7,500-shaft horsepower at sea level, the GE38-1B will offer significant advances in large turboshaft engine performance, fuel efficiency and life-cycle cost.
Sikorsky's three-engine CH-53K aircraft is designed to replace the CH-53E SUPER STALLION helicopter in the Marine Corps' inventory, which is powered by GE's T64 engine. The CH-53E is the largest, most powerful helicopter suited for marine operation in the world.
In April, the Department of Defense awarded Sikorsky a $3 billion System Development and Demonstration (SDD) contract to oversee development, systems integration, testing and evaluation activities of the aircraft on a sole-source basis. The Initial Operating Capability (IOC) is scheduled for 2015.
"GE has invested aggressively in substantial technology advancements for future helicopter applications," said Russell F. Sparks, president and CEO of the military systems operation at GE. "The result is the ability to offer a GE engine based on proven, military and commercial experience. We are pleased with Sikorsky's and Marine Corps vote of confidence in the GE38-1B."
The GE38-1B is based on the GE27 technology demonstrator engine completed for the U.S. military and T407 turboprop engine developed for the U.S. Navy. The GE27 set world records for low fuel consumption and power-to-weight ratio. A turbofan derivative of the engine, the CFE738, powers the Dassault Falcon 2000 business jet.
The GE38-1B has a five-stage axial compressor coupled with a single-stage centrifugal compressor. It has a low-emission, annular combustor, two-stage gas generator turbine, and three-stage power turbine. It features a dual-channel Full Authority Digital Electronic Control system with advanced health monitoring functions. The engine is highly resistant to sand erosion, salt-water corrosion and offers stall-free operation in all conditions - features ideal to withstand the Marine Corps' tough operating environments.
To help reduce operation and support costs, the GE38-1B features 60 percent fewer parts with longer component lives than its T64 predecessor. It also offers excellent fuel efficiency to provide additional payload/range capability and low-life cycle cost. In addition, the engine will provide excess power to meet current and future CH-53K mission requirements.
GE - Aviation, an operating unit of General Electric Company, is one of the world's leading manufacturers of jet engines for civil and military aircraft.
Sikorsky, based in Stratford, Conn. is a world leader in helicopter design, manufacturing, and service. United Technologies Corp., based in Hartford, Conn., provides a broad range of high-technology products and support services to the aerospace and building systems industries.