MTU Creates a Speedline for the German Air Force

Engine manufacturer MTU Aero Engines is prioritizing the maintenance of engines for the Eurofighter and Sikorsky CH-53. In this way, the company is contributing to the operational readiness of the German Air Force and ensuring that Germany can meet security challenges together with its alliance partners.

The current turning point in security policy represents a rapid transformation for MTU as well. The changed situation and the increased needs of the armed forces mainly affect two engine programs at MTU: the T64, which powers the Sikorsky CH-53G heavy transport helicopter, and the EJ200 used in the Eurofighter. Since the relocation of numerous jets from Germany to NATO’s eastern flank in the Baltics and in Romania, their flying hours have increased.

“We are prepared to do everything necessary to increase the German Air Force’s operational readiness,” says Michael Schreyögg, chief program officer at MTU, summarizing the new challenges. “If the German Air Force needs to fly more, then we need to significantly shorten the cycle for our military maintenance.” For the EJ200 and T64, MTU created cross-location and interdepartmental task forces. This is significant because the engines are dismantled and assembled at the MTU site in Erding (nothwest of Munich), while spare parts management, damage inspections, product monitoring and quality assurance take place at the company’s main site in Munich.

MTU has gathered technological knowledge from its many decades of manufacturing and maintaining engines for the commercial as well as the military sector. For instance, it originally developed its compressor technology for the Eurofighter engine, then refined it in the A400M engine and finally brought it onto the high-volume commercial market with the geared turbofan. “This mutual respect between the commercial and military areas helped MTU set up a ‘fast lane’ for the Armed Forces engines in record time,” said Schreyögg. “The major challenge for us is accomplishing that without putting the brakes on our commercial programs.”

As of mid-May 2022, MTU says it has delivered almost as many maintained T64 engines to the Air Force as it did in the entire 2021 calendar year – thereby meeting the increased customer demand. Delivery frequency increased for the EJ200 as well. Repairs of the parts needed for military programs are now a higher priority, with maximum flexibility and increased human resources. Thanks to more extensive coordination, the other partners in the EJ200 consortium are also shipping urgently needed spare parts to MTU more quickly.