Powerful helicopters are required to carry heavy loads or land troops in difficult terrain. In the military helicopter engine business, MTU Aero Engines has workshares in GE’s T408 and in the MTR390, the latter having been developed in cooperation with Safran Helicopter Engines, Rolls-Royce and ITP.

The T408 turboshaft engine is the propulsion system for 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. Of course, Sikorsky has also offered the King Stallion in the competition to win the contract to supply heavy-duty helicopters to the German Armed Forces. If the helicopter manufacturer is awarded the contract, MTU will be responsible for the repair of all T408 power turbines operated by the Federal Armed Forces.

The MTR390 is a turboshaft engine featuring a free power turbine and is used to power the Franco-German Tiger support and anti-tank helicopter. So far, firm orders have been received for 492 MTR390 engines. The assembly line for all production engines has been set up at MTU in Munich.


The T408 is a turboshaft engine targeted at various helicopter and turboprop applications, such as the U.S. Marine Corps’ CH-53K heavy-lift helicopter. Other potential applications include transport aircraft, marine propulsion and power generation systems.