General Electric has amassed 2300 test hours on the GE38 turboshaft engine it is developing for the Sikorsky CH-53K helicopter.

The test hours were accumulated on four engines, the company says. A fifth test engine will be added to the programme later this year. GE says it expects to complete a total of 5000 hours of testing on five engines by late 2013.

"We are pleased with the progress of the GE38 program," says US Marine Corps Col Robert Pridgen, Naval Air Systems Command's programme manager for the CH-53K. "This system is a critical enabler for the tremendous capability the CH-53K will bring to the Marines. I continue to be optimistic about the performance of this engine."

General Electric says it has built seven engines for the CH-53K flight test programme thus far. The company says it will manufacture 13 more engines in the next seven months.

Source: Flight International