Improved Turbine Engine Program
|Improved Turbine Engine Program|
|Both the UH-60 and AH-64 are to be powered by the Improved Turbine Engine (ITE).|
|Issued by||United States Army|
|Date initiated||July 2009|
General Electric T901
|Related programs||Joint Multi-Role|
The Improved Turbine Engine Program (ITEP), formerly the Advanced Affordable Turbine Engine (AATE) program, is a United States Army project to develop a General Electric T700 replacement for the UH-60 Black Hawk and AH-64 Apache, improving fuel consumption, power, durability and cost. Honeywell and Pratt & Whitney formed the ATEC joint venture to develop the T900, while GE Aviation builds the T901.
In December 2006, the U.S. Army's Aviation Applied Technology Directorate (AATD) solicited proposals for the 3000 shp Advanced Affordable Turbine Engine (AATE) free-turbine turboshaft to fit the UH-60 and AH-64, leveraging the DoD/NASA/DOE VAATE program to target a 25% reduction in SFC (less than 0.347 lb/hp/h, 211 g/kW/h), a 65% improvement in power to weight (more than 6.5 hp/lb, 10.7 kW/kg), a 20% improvement in design life (more than 6000 hours and 15000 cycles), a 35% reduction in production (less than $650k per engine) and maintenance cost, and a 15% reduction in product development cost.
In 2007, Honeywell and Pratt & Whitney formed the ATEC joint venture, which was awarded $108 million to develop the HPW3000 in early May 2008 while GE Aviation received a similar contract for the GE3000.
In July 2009, the United States Army developed AATE into the Improved Turbine Engine Program (ITEP) to improve the AH-64 and UH-60 hot and high capacities and increase combat radius by 500 km (270 nmi). Both designs can start without an APU, using the battery. The UH-60 and AH-64 have Honeywell GTCP 36-150 APUs.
Twin-engined, the 3,000 Black Hawks and 1,000 Apaches requires 10,000 engines and Sikorsky is also considering it for the S-97 Raider instead of its single GE CT7/T700. Throughout 2012, GE and ATEC are looking to carry out both durability and performance demonstration testing as the four-and-a-half year Science and Technology phase concludes.
In August 2016, ATEC and GE were awarded 24-month contracts to take their engines through preliminary design review, till late 2018. The US Army should award a single Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) contract in the first quarter of 2019. Critical design review in the second quarter of 2020 will lead to first engine testing in the third quarter of 2021 before flight tests, and a production decision in 2024.
ATEC HPW3000 (T900)
ATEC is a 50/50 joint venture created in 2007 between Honeywell Aerospace and Pratt & Whitney Military Engines. ATEC completed a Core Engine (High Pressure system only) test in mid-2011 on the two-spool HPW3000 and completed Gas Generator (both High and Low Pressure systems) testing in January 2012.
General Electric GE3000 (T901)
Since 2010 GE spent more than $300 million to develop and test T901-specific technologies and in 2016, the Army awarded GE Aviation a $102-million, 24-month contract for the T901 preliminary design review for which a team of more than 100 engineers was assembled. The GE-funded prototype six month testing was completed in October 2017, meeting or exceededing the ITEP performance and growth requirements.
GE maintains the T700 single spool architecture for modularity and reliability with additive manufacturing and ceramic matrix composites (CMCs) from the CFM LEAP, GE9X or GE ATP. Additive manufactured components lower weight by minimizing attaching features in assemblies and allows more advanced aerodynamic shapes for better engine performance, reliability and durability. More durable and higher temperature CMCs replace metal alloys, needing less cooling and improving engine efficiency.
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- Stephen Trimble (20 June 2008). "Engine War revival: P&W bounces back with improved F100". Flightglobal.
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- Graham Warwick (April 19, 2018). . Aviation Week & Space Technology. p. 55.
- "The Single Spool Core: A proven design for performance and simplicity" (PDF). GE Aviation.
- "GE Aviation completes T901 turboshaft testing for the US Army's Improved Turbine Engine Program" (Press release). GE Aviation. October 9, 2017.
- Stephen Trimble (25 Apr 2018). "Analysis: US Army's powerful vision for ITEP engine". Flightglobal.