GE: GAO denies ATEC's protest of engine award

By Ashley Tressel / May 31, 2019 at 10:29 AM

The Government Accountability Office has denied Advanced Turbine Engine Co.'s protest of the Army's award to General Electric Aviation for the Improved Turbine Engine Program, intended to replace the engines in the Apache and Black Hawk helicopters, GE announced yesterday.

The Army on Feb. 1 awarded GE a $517 million contract to move forward as the sole developer for ITEP.

ATEC, a joint venture of Honeywell International Inc. and Pratt & Whitney, subsequently filed its protest Feb. 19, then stating its T900 dual-spool engine "was judged to be much lower risk" and under the Army's desired cost.

GE, the incumbent for Apache and Black Hawk engines, in a statement yesterday said its T901 single-spool engine "offers more than a 50% increase in power, better fuel efficiency and lower lifecycle costs" compared to its T700 engine currently powering the helicopters.

GE said it expects the stop-work order on the engineering and manufacturing development phase of ITEP "to be lifted shortly."

ATEC also addressed the decision in a statement yesterday: "We appreciate the thorough review of our protest as conducted by the Government Accountability Office. We are disappointed in the outcome and are currently reviewing the decision in detail."

ATEC said it has recommended Congress provide the Army funding for both engines to move forward to the EMD phase so the service can "thoroughly test" both proposals.

ITEP is also slated for use in the Army's Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft, which the service wants to field by 2030.