Today, helicopters play a vital role in the aircraft fleets operated by almost any air force, thanks in no small measure to their flexibility and versatility. They are capable of vertical take-off and landing and of hovering at zero flight speed, thus perfectly complementing fixed-wing aircraft. In the engine business for military helicopter applications, MTU Aero Engines has workshares in the GE T408 and the MTR390, the latter having been developed in cooperation with Safran Helicopter Engines, Rolls-Royce and ITP.
The T408 is a turboshaft engine slated to power the U.S. Marine Corps’ Sikorsky CH-53K heavy-lift helicopter. MTU develops and manufactures the power turbine, for the first time acting as a development participant with full responsibility for an entire module in a U.S. military engine program. The engine delivers more than 7,500 SHP, which makes it the most powerful turboshaft engine ever built by GE.
The MTR390 is a turboshaft engine featuring a free power turbine and used to power the Franco-German Tiger support and anti-tank helicopter. So far, firm orders have been received for 445 MTR390 engines. The assembly line for all production engines has been set up at MTU in Munich.