The Gem's three-shaft engine configuration is rather unusual for turboshaft/turboprop engines. Basic arrangement is a four-stage axial LP (Low Pressure) compressor, driven by a single stage LP turbine, supercharging a centrifugal HP (High Pressure) compressor, driven by a single stage HP turbine. Power is delivered to the load via a third shaft, connected to a two-stage free (power) turbine. A reverse flow combustor is featured.
The Gem 42 develops 1,000 shp (750 kW) at Take-off, Sea Level Static, ISA, but the Maximum Contingency Rating (MCR) is 1,120 shp (840 kW).
Until recently all versions of the Lynx have been Gem powered. However, now that Rolls-Royce own Allison, they have been marketing the more modern LHTEC T800, developed jointly with Honeywell. The civil version, known as the CTS800, will power the AgustaWestland Super Lynx.