GE Aviation’s T901 prototype turboshaft engine and the T900 turboshaft prototype developed by the ATEC joint venture between Honeywell and Pratt & Whitney have passed the preliminary design reviews (PDRs) conducted by the US Army Contracting Command (ACC) as a key development step for the US Army’s Improved Turbine Engine Programme (ITEP). Both companies announced in late April that their ITEP engine designs had passed their PDRs, which the ACC conducted for the T901 in late March and for the T900 in the first half of April.
Through ITEP the US Army is seeking to select one turboshaft engine type to replace the GE T700 engines currently installed in all of its UH- 60 Black Hawk and AH-64 Apache helicopters – a requirement totalling some 6,000 engines powering around 3,000 helicopters, plus spare engines. The ITEP requirement calls for the replacement engine to generate 50% more power than the T700, to be 25% more fuel-efficient and to offer a 20% increase in component and engine design life. After the ACC conducted its PDR of the T901, “We had a very successful meeting with the [US] Army,” Mike Sousa Jr, GE Aviation’s director of business development for advanced turboshaft programmes, told AIR International. “At the end of the meeting the Army had a list of action items” for GE Aviation to address as it continued development and testing of the T901. Sousa said: “We have addressed most of those items and we are going through them all to make sure every ‘T’ is crossed. We’re real close to being through that process’. In ATEC’s news release announcing the T900 had cleared the PDR hurdle, Craig Madden, president of ATEC said: “The successful PDR underscores that the ATEC team continues to develop an engine that will meet the Army’s aviation needs well into the future. It also is an endorsement of our proven and state-of-the-art dual-spool architecture, combined with an advanced control system that will deliver increased performance and durability to warfighters in challenging environments, when they need it most’.