U.S. Army AH-64E Apache pilots prepare to depart for a mission.
GE Aviation hosted the U.S. Army for the preliminary design review (PDR) of the T901-GE-900 in early March. The T901 is GE Aviation’s engine for the Improved Turbine Engine Program (ITEP).
ITEP is the U.S. Army’s undertaking to re-engine its Boeing AH-64 Apaches and Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawks. The PDR is a step within the technology maturation and risk reduction (TMRR) contract. The Army awarded GE the $102 million, 24-month contract in September 2016.
The Army is in the process of selecting one engine manufacturer for the engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) phase by the end of 2018. The U.S. Army Contracting Command (ACC) released its request for proposals for the EMD last November. GE Aviation submitted the first phase of the proposal in February and is preparing the second and final phase of its proposal based on the engine configuration reviewed at the PDR.
GE Aviation completed a fit test with the Army in December using a full-scale engine mockup. It demonstrated how the T901 engine integrates with the Apache and Black Hawk helicopter airframes. The experience GE has gathered in powering aircraft missions with the T700 engine, has informed the development of the T901. This will help the Army and GE make a smooth transition from the T700 to the T901.
GE has invested more than $9 billion in maturing commercial technologies applicable to the T901 and over $300 million to develop and test turboshaft technologies ahead of the PDR. GE completed testing a T901 prototype engine, as well as component tests.