The Advanced Turbine Engine Company, LLC (ATEC), a Honeywell (NYSE: HON) and Pratt & Whitney (NYSE:UTX) joint venture, has successfully completed testing of its first HPW3000 engine, which is being offered as a solution for the U.S. Army’s Improved Turbine Engine Program (ITEP).

The goal of ITEP is to develop and qualify an advanced 3000 horsepower turboshaft engine, primarily for UH-60 Black Hawk and AH-64 Apache helicopters, that provides better performance for the warfighter at a lower operating cost. The first HPW3000 engine performed extremely well in performance tests, demonstrating improved fuel efficiency which will allow for extended range and increased payload capabilities for the Black Hawk and Apache fleets.

“The ATEC program is on track. The Army has a real need for a new engine for the Black Hawk and Apache that will provide a significant increase in capability to the warfighter,” said Craig Madden, president of ATEC. “Completing the first engine test is a great step toward accomplishing this goal.”

“The first engine ran very well,” said Jerry Wheeler, vice president, ATEC. “It has given us high confidence that the Army’s expectations are achievable, and that the HPW3000 will be able to meet or exceed ITEP’s goals.”

“We ran our first HPW3000 engine over the course of the summer for durability testing and we’ve experienced great results,” added Wheeler. “We are now evaluating these results and we will be conducting performance and sand ingestion tests on a second engine to further validate the hardware.”

The Army aims to operate an engine that has 50 percent additional power, with an increase of 25 percent in fuel efficiency and a 20 percent increase in engine life. Additionally, the Army program intends to reduce production and maintenance costs by 20-35 percent, while maintaining installation compatibility with the Black Hawk and Apache.

“The direct impact of fielding a 25 percent more fuel-efficient engine for the entire fleet represents an annual savings of $1 billion in operating and support costs versus the current engine,” said Madden. “Providing extended range and payload also reduces the need for forward area refueling, which also saves time to perform the mission and reduces risks to troops in harm’s way.”

“ITEP addresses the mission capability gaps that exist with current engine technology now being used, and looks forward to bridging that gap with the benefit of significant energy and fuel costs savings,” said Wheeler. “It is an extremely important program to Army Aviation, and its priority in the current budget reflects its importance to the Army’s future plans.”

Black Hawk and Apache rotorcraft comprise approximately 75 percent of the Army’s helicopter fleet, and ITEP is essential to ensuring these helicopters remain mission capable worldwide for the next 30 years or more. In addition to solving capability gaps for current rotorcraft, the ITEP engine provides the basis for the Army’s planned Future Vertical Lift light and medium variants, which are eventually planned to replace current armed reconnaissance, utility, and attack helicopters.

“ATEC is supportive of the Army’s acquisition strategy,” said Madden. “We’re confident the HPW3000 will meet the Army’s requirements. We are ready to compete.”

The Advanced Turbine Engine Company brings together the world-class engineering, manufacturing, and production capabilities of two industry-leading companies to build the most advanced and fuel efficient 3,000 shaft horsepower turbine engine.

To learn more about ATEC and the HPW3000 engine, visit Booth 1661 during the United States Army (AUSA) Annual Meeting and Exposition, held Oct. 21-23 in Washington, D.C., at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

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