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GE celebrates delivery of first T408 engines for Navy's heavy-lift helicopters

The CH-53K King Stallion lifts a Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, January 18, 2018.

SHANNON DOHERTY/U.S. MARINE CORPS

By THOMAS GRILLO | Daily Item, Lynn, Mass. | Published: October 26, 2019

LYNN, Mass. (Tribune News Service) — General Electric Co. received a $143 million contract from the US Naval Air Systems Command  (NAVAIR) for the production of engines that will power the U.S. Marine Corps' heavy-lift helicopters.

GE Aviation delivered its first production T408 engine for the helicopters to NAVAIR last month. GE held a ceremony Friday in the city to mark the occasion.

The Marines use the so-called King Stallion engines like a flying crane. The helicopters can lift loads weighing 27,000 pounds and carry them more than 100 miles in any weather. These engines triple the load carrying-capacity of the Marine Corps' options.

U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.), a member of the House Armed Services Committee who took credit for the deal, said this is the second major federally-funded engine GE contract this year.

"For the first time in a generation, the headlines in Lynn are about hiring," said Moulton in a statement. "I'll keep using my seat in Congress to fight for a new generation of growth in Lynn."

In February, the U.S. Army awarded GE a $517 million commitment to the company's Improved Turbine Engine Program. That has led to new jobs in Lynn building turbines that power engines for the Army's Apache and Black Hawk helicopters.

He commended GE for again recognizing "nobody will work harder than our community to support the country's most important missions."

The new contract calls for 27 Low-Rate Initial Production T408 engines for the Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion helicopter. GE Aviation will also provide the Marines parts, associated engine and programmatic, logistical, and equipment support.

"At Local 201, we've worked hard to see an increased commitment to the Riverworks plant," said Adam Kaszynski, IUE-CWA Local 201 in a statement. The T-408 contract is a welcome step on the path to securing union jobs for Lynn and the surrounding communities."

Linda Smith, T408 Program Director at GE Aviation, said her team is honored to meet this milestone as a crucial step forward.

"With each successive production lot, we move closer to full-rate production of the T408, which will deliver unprecedented performance to the U.S. Marine Corps for decades to come," Smith said in a statement.

When Moulton took office, he said one of his first priorities was establishing the Lynn Economic Advancement and Development (LEAD) team, a joint effort of federal, state and local leaders who collaborate with the Lynn Business Partnership to cut through red tape.

The news comes after Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi named Moulton as a member of the Conference Committee for the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, the bill that authorizes government spending on defense.

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