Sikorsky CH-53K. Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin
MTU Aero Engines is Sikorsky’s newest partner in pursuit of the German Air Force’s heavy-lift competition. The German firm said it has an 18% work share in the CH-53K engine program.
The agreement between the two parties would have MTU Aero engines providing maintenance, repair and overhaul of the engines for the air force. Along with GE Aviation, MTU Aero Engines has been partnering with Sikorsky since the inception of the CH-53K for the U.S. Marine Corps. The aircraft is powered by three GE Aviation T408-GE-400s. The engine manufacturer was given the OK to start low-rate initial production for the Marine Corps in November 2017.
“The CH-53K and its engine were developed to support the heavy-lift requirements of the 21st century and meet the highest security standards,” said Klaus Günther, SVP of defense programs at MTU Aero Engines. “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.”
MTU Aero Engines claims to be Germany’s leading engine manufacturer, as well as a leader in low-pressure turbines, high-pressure compressors, turbine center frames, and manufacturing processes and repair techniques. According to the company, it is Germany’s industrial lead for practically all engines operated by its military.
Sikorsky said it would be entering the German heavy-lift competition with a strategic teaming agreement between itself and Rheinmetall. Released at the beginning of February, the announcement said the two parties would be releasing the names of more partners “in the coming weeks.”