Boeing Awarded $239 Million Contract for Apache Improved Turbine Engine integration Phase II
Boeing Awarded $239 Million Contract for Apache Improved Turbine Engine integration Phase II

Boeing Awarded $239 Million Contract for Apache Improved Turbine Engine Integration Phase II

The Boeing Co., Mesa, Arizona, was awarded a $239,590,243 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the Apache Improved Turbine Engine Integration Phase II. The Improved Turbine Engine Program (ITEP), formerly the Advanced Affordable Turbine Engine (AATE) program, is a United States Army project to develop a General Electric T700 replacement for the UH-60 Black Hawk and AH-64 Apache, improving fuel consumption, power, durability, and cost. Work will be performed in Mesa, Arizona, with an estimated completion date of Dec. 31, 2026. Fiscal 2021 and 2022 research, development, test, and evaluation, Army funds for $18,000,000 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the contracting activity.

General Electric T901 (GE3000) turboshaft engine
General Electric T901 (GE3000) turboshaft engine

In 2007, Honeywell and Pratt & Whitney formed the Advanced Turbine Engine Company (ATEC) joint venture. The science & technology phase to subsidize the development of AATE consisted of two contracts: one was awarded in May 2008 to ATEC for $108 million to develop the HPW3000, and the other was awarded to GE Aviation in late 2007 for the GE3000. In July 2009, the United States Army announced the development of AATE would continue under the Improved Turbine Engine Program (ITEP); ITEP would result in an engine that would improve the AH-64 and UH-60 hot and high capacities and increase combat radius. On 1 February 2019, the US Army selected the GE T901 as the winner of the ITEP program, awarding the Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) contract for $517 million.

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The General Electric T901 3D model mounted in the Apache AH-64E engine bay as part of fit check testing completed in Mesa, AZ.
The General Electric T901 3D model mounted in the Apache AH-64E engine bay as part of fit check testing completed in Mesa, AZ. The Program Office for Army Aviation’s Advanced Turbine Engine Project Office successfully completed fit testing the next generation power plant for the Apache Attack Helicopter Jan. 28-29 (Photo by Paul Stevenson/Program Executive Office, Aviation)

In addition to 3,000-shp output, the targets for AATE were a 25% reduction in fuel consumption (less than 0.347 lb/hp/h, 211 g/kW/h), a 65% improvement in power to weight (more than 6.5 hp/lb, 10.7 kW/kg), a 20% improvement in design life (more than 6000 hours and 15000 cycles), a 35% reduction in production (less than $650k per engine) and maintenance cost, and a 15% reduction in product development cost The 3,000-shp goal for AATE is a 50% increase over the most powerful T700-701D variant, but would also require upgrades to the gearbox, transmission, rotor blades, and tail rotor. Both the ATEC and GE designs can start without an auxiliary power unit (APU), using the battery alone. The UH-60 and AH-64 are currently equipped with Honeywell GTCP 36-150 APUs.

General Electric T901 (GE3000) turboshaft engine
General Electric T901 (GE3000) turboshaft engine

Using the Improved Turbine Engine Program (ITEP), the combat radius is projected to increase by 500 km (270 nmi). The hot and high service ceiling will be increased from 4,000 to 6,000 ft (1,200 to 1,800 m) at 95 °F (35 °C). Performance targets have been determined in part by operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as growing airframe weights. The General Electric T901 (GE3000) is a turboshaft engine in the 3,000 shp (2,200 kW) class currently under development for the United States Army’s Improved Turbine Engine Program (ITEP). The ITEP plans after 2025 to re-engine over 1,300 Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk and more than 600 Boeing AH-64 Apache, and power the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft.

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