LYNN, Mass., Aug. 18 (UPI) -- GE Aviation has been tapped by the U.S. Navy to manufacture and support engines for use on CH-53K helicopters being developed by Sikorsky Aircraft.
The System Demonstration Test Article contract for 16 GE38-1B engines is worth $68.5 million and runs to 2017, the company said.
"The contract builds on the success of the System Design and Development contracts with Sikorsky dating back to 2006, which covered engine factory qualification testing and the delivery of 20 flight test engines to support the technical evaluation phase of the CH-53K program," it said.
"The GE38 engine will give the CH-53K helicopter the power to carry a 27,000-pound external load over a mission radius of 110 nautical miles in hot weather conditions, nearly triple the external load carrying capacity of the service's current CH-53E Super Stallion aircraft."
GE Aviation said parts for the engines will be supplied by its supply chain facilities in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Kentucky, Ohio and Florida.
GE is part of an industry team that is assembling prototype CH-53K King Stallion aircraft for first flight later this year.