Aerial Warfare

US Army Aviation Upgrades the T700 Engine


US Army Aviation Upgrades the T700 Engine

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Program Executive Office, Aviation has the completed the first unit upgrade in its program to replace the Enhanced Digital Engine Control Units (EDECU) for T700 series engines used across the Army helicopter fleet.

Each of Utah’s Army National Guard 1st Battalion, 211th Aviation Regiment helicopter’s T700-GE-701D engines now have the latest P09 EDECU. The regiment brought its fleet of Apache helicopters to West Jordan, Utah in February for this phase of the P09 EDECU upgrade fielding effort. The effort was initiated by the Aviation Turbine Engines (ATE) Project Office and overseen by the Apache Project Office. Both project offices are part of PEO Aviation.

Maintenance teams completed installation of the P09 EDECUs onto the 211th’s 23 aircraft (46 engines) onsite by the end of March. The next Apache upgrade will take place in Alaska during the summer. In addition to upgrading previously fielded engines, all new T701D engines for both Black Hawk and Apache are now produced with the P09 EDECUs and the AMCOM Logistics Center (ALC) is procuring the P09 EDECU for its spares inventory.

Why the change? With over 50 million flight hours, the T700 series of engines and its variants have been a reliable power source for multiple premier helicopter platforms for more than 40 years. In 2018, the Army identified a reliability problem with the P07/P08 EDECU where a particular failure mode led to high side event occurrences. The problem required the T700/T55 Product Office to rapidly develop and field an upgraded EDECU for the T701D engine. By early 2019, the team developed and qualified the P09 EDECU. In order to gain confidence in the rapidly developed design, ATE performed a “Lead the Fleet” effort over the course of 21 weeks with 48 P09 EDECU’s that accumulated 5,095 flight hours. Because of the “Lead the Fleet” effort, ATE was able to identify and fix one design issue prior to fleet wide fielding.

To ensure the T700 remains mission ready, the Aviation Turbine Engines’ T700/T55 Product Office relentlessly works to create affordable solutions to enhance the engine’s durability and reliability. Even as the P09 upgrade continues, the T700/T55 Product Office will continue to provide expertise in engineering, acquisition, and program management to the Warfighter to ensure that the T700 series engine continues to be the Army’s premier turbine engine on which Soldiers rely.

US Army Aviation Upgrades the T700 Engine
Snow capped mountains of West Jordan, Utah loom behind several AH-64 Apache helicopters as a subtle reminder of the extreme conditions the helicopters and the Soldiers relying on them will encounter. (Richard King, ATE T700 Fleet Manager.)

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