The T58 is one of the most reliable helicopter engines in the world. The T58 turboshaft engine - the engine that would power the Sikorsky Sea King helicopter that recovered the Apollo astronauts and still powers Marine One - the helicopter of the U.S. president since the Kennedy administration - was born in 1953 with the award of a $3 million contract from the U.S. Navy. Under the terms of the contract, GE was to develop the XT-58 "baby gas turbine" that the company had proposed as a powerplant for helicopters. The engine was to weigh 400 pounds and was to produce 800 shaft horsepower (shp). The T58 was developed for helicopter use and was the first turbine engine to gain FAA certification for civil helicopter use (CT58 is the civilian version).
In 2002, the U.S. Navy approved conversion of 300 T58-GE-16 engines powering Boeing CH-46E helicopters of the U.S. Marine Corps to the T58-GE-16A configuration. This conversion increased engine time-on-wing through the installation of an improved engine core (high-pressure compressor, combustor, and high-pressure turbine) and modifications to the power turbine and accessory package.