MTU Aero Engines has, for the first time, secured a major risk-sharing stake in a US military engine programme by taking 18% of the General Electric GE38 turboshaft for the Sikorsky CH-53K heavylift helicopter.

The German manufacturer says it is taking responsibility for the development and production of the power turbine module and will also assemble, test and support GE38s purchased by European customers.

It estimates the contract will generate revenues for MTU of roughly €2 billion ($3.15bn) over the life of the GE38 programme, with potential sales of up to 6,000 engines, covering a variety of other turboshaft and turboprop applications. The US Marine Corps is expected to acquire 156 three-engined CH-53Ks to replace its CH-53E Super Stallions.

The agreement between GE and MTU also covers the supply of engines for the proposed Eurocopter/Sikorsky European Heavy Transport Helicopter, which could replace Germany’s ageing CH-53s. The 7,500shp (5,590kW) GE38 draws on technology developed as part of the GE27 demonstrator programme and stillborn T407 turboprop for the US Navy.

Source: Flight International