General Electric (GE) Aviation was awarded a USD517.4 million engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) contract on 1 February after it won the US Army’s Improved Turbine Engine Program (ITEP) competition.
GE Aviation offered its developmental T901-GE-900 powerplant to re-engine the US Army’s current fleet of Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk and Boeing AH-64E Apache Guardian helicopters, as well as power the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft being developed under the wider Future Vertical Lift (FVL) effort.
GE Aviation beat-off stiff competition from Advanced Turbine Engine Company (ATEC) – a joint venture between Honeywell and United Technologies’ Pratt & Whitney military engines unit – and its T900 powerplant to secure the award.
Work on the EMD contract will be carried out in Lynn, Massachusetts, with an estimated completion date of 1 August 2024.
GE Aviation and ATEC matured their respective designs ahead of the type selection through the Advanced Affordable Turbine Engine, with both companies being awarded development contracts in 2008. ITEP followed in September 2015, with GE Aviation and ATEC offering the single-spool GE3000 and dual-spool HPW3000 engines respectively. Under ITEP, the US Army is looking to increase the power output of the 2,000 shp GE T700 turbine that powers the Black Hawk and Apache by 50% to 3,000 shp, while reducing fuel consumption by 25%. The new powerplant also needed to be a form-fit replacement for the old one.
With GE Aviation noting that its single-spool solution would rely on advances in materials and manufacturing processes to improve engine efficiency, ATEC said that it would improve efficiency by virtue of its engine being a dual-spool design.
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