18 Mar 2015 By: Dan Parsons - FG
Washington DC - Competition for the US Army’s improved turbine engine programme (ITEP) is shaping up to be a head-to-head match-up between single-spool and double-spool turboshaft powerplant designs.
The army is set issue a request for proposals for preliminary design review in May. Both a Pratt & Whitney/Honeywell team General Electric Aviation are expected to compete, although other engine manufacturers also could bid for the work. General Electric builds the T700 engine that ITEP will replace in army helicopters, and ITEP should be a drop-in replacement for the T700 in the Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk and the Boeing AH-64 Apache.
The programme goal is to develop a 3,000shp engine that also achieves a 25% improvement in fuel efficiency over the T700.
Mike Sousa, advanced turboshaft programme manager at GE, says “the fundamental competitive difference is two-spool core versus one-spool”. A single-spool engine, which the T700 is, is simpler than a double spool and the technology is well understood and readily available, Sousa says.