Army awards $154 million helicopter contract

By STEPHEN SINGER | The Hartford Courant (Tribune News Service) | Published: August 24, 2016

The U.S. Army has announced a $154 million contract for a joint venture between Pratt & Whitney and Honeywell International Inc. for preliminary design of a Black Hawk helicopter engine.

The two-year contract for the venture, known as the Advanced Turbine Engine Co. of Honeywell and the jet engine-manufacturing subsidiary of United Technologies Corp., is for the design of an advanced engine.

The Army specifications require the engine to be 50 percent more powerful, 25 percent more fuel efficient and provide 20 percent longer engine life over the current engine. It also must meet performance goals in high altitude of 6,000 feet and heat of up to 95 degrees Fahrenheit.

ATEC recently completed testing of two demonstrator engines.

The engine's architecture offers advantages such as engine efficiency, decreased maintenance costs and extended engine life to provide the Army with the most flexibility in response to mission requirements.

With savings from decreased fuel consumption and lowered operating and support costs, the engine is expected to potentially save $1 billion annually, compared with the current engine in the Black Hawk and Apache fleets.

"The American taxpayer can be assured that we are committed to providing the safest, most affordable and capable helicopter engine to the warfighter so that they can accomplish the mission." said Jerry Wheeler, vice president for programs at the Advanced Turbine Engine Co.

The Army's development schedule for the engine program calls for it to select from competing preliminary engine designs in 2018 and proceed with a sole engine developer.

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