Army selects GE Aviation as sole developer of new helicopter engine

By Maximilian Kwiatkowski / February 1, 2019 at 6:06 PM

The Army has awarded GE Aviation a $517 million contract to move forward as the sole developer of the Improved Turbine Engine Program.

The service's selection of GE's T901 engine to move onto the engineering and manufacturing development phase was announced Feb. 1. "Work will be performed in Lynn, Massachusetts, with an estimated completion date of Aug. 1, 2024," a Defense Department statement reads.

GE Aviation beat out Advanced Turbine Engine Co., a joint venture of Honeywell and Pratt & Whitney, for the contract.

"We are honored to be chosen by the Army to continue powering their Black Hawks and Apaches for decades to come," Tony Mathis, president and CEO of GE Aviation, said in a statement. "We've invested in the resources and infrastructure to execute immediately, and our team is ready to get to work on delivering the improved capabilities of the T901 to the warfighter."

The EMD phase will finalize the design and involve thousands of hours of tests on a prototype engine to qualify it for use in Army helicopters before going into full production.

ITEP is to replace the Army's T700 engine -- which is also produced by GE -- with the goal of giving helicopters better fuel efficiency, higher altitudes and greater speeds as well as better acclimating the aircraft to operate in hot, arid climates.