Army completes Apache next-generation engine test

By Jaspreet Gill / February 27, 2020 at 10:44 AM

The Army last month successfully mounted the next-generation engine for the AH-60 Apache attack helicopter during a "fit test," the service announced this week.

The test took place in Mesa, AZ, on Jan. 28 and 29 and consisted of "installing a full scale 3D-printed model of the General Electric T901 turboshaft engine to assess the form, fit, and human systems integration in the aircraft," according to an Army press release.

The GE T901, a replacement for the current T700 engine, is the designated engine for the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft under the Army's future vertical lift modernization priority and one of the service’s top aviation priorities for the Black Hawk and Apache fleets.

According to the press release, the GE T901 is designed to provide significant fuel savings and power enhancement over the current engine, lower operation and sustainment costs, joint all-domain operations capability, worldwide performance at 6k/95 degrees Fahrenheit and features a modular design that enables field level repair.

The service's Advanced Turbine Engine Project Office completed the tests with the Apache Attack Helicopter Project Office, General Electric Aviation and Boeing.

The Army awarded GE a $517 million contract for the Improved Turbine Engine Program in February last year. Boeing and Sikorsky were awarded integration support contracts for the enduring fleet last year for the AH-64E and H-60M platforms, respectively.

The ITEP is currently in the engineering and manufacturing development phase.

The GE T901 engine will be tested on the Black Hawk next and a critical design review is scheduled for the third quarter of this year, according to the release.