Engine with uncommon mission has first birthday
June 14, 2013
The Army is commemorating the first anniversary of its product office that manages the current engine, and development and acquisition of the service's future rotary wing engine.
June 14, also the Army's 238th birthday, marks one year since the Utility Helicopters Project Office established the Product Office for Common Engine, whose responsibility is to centrally manage the development, integration, recapitalization, conversion, and sustainment of the T700 and future generation engine products.
Led by Lt. Col. Roger Kuykendall, PM CE is charged with developing and acquiring the Improved Turbine Engine, the Army's newest engine product, which will transition to the Improved Turbine Engine Program at the end of 2013. For the past several years, the Science and Technology community has been developing technology in conjunction with engine manufacturers to make this advanced engine a reality.
"We have experienced tremendous success with ITEP this past year and have set conditions to continue on a successful path with our next goal of achieving Milestone A in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2013," Kuykendall said. "I could not have asked for a better team who are thoroughly committed to providing Army aviation with an engine that will enable our utility and attack rotary wing fleet to fly higher, at much longer ranges, and will consume much less energy than the current engine."
Both the UH-60 Black Hawk and AH-64 Apache, as well as other variants of helicopters, currently operate with the General Electric T700-GE-701C/D engine that has 1,900/2000 horsepower. The ITEP provides 3,000 shaft horsepower with a significant fuel consumption decrease, maintenance cost decrease and will incorporate a Condition Based Maintenance plus package, and a horsepower-to-weight increase.
ITEP will also lower overall maintenance for the utility/attack variants of the Army's helicopter fleet and will save lives now lost moving and protecting fuel on the battlefield, and will lighten the logistics load. The ITEP is aligned with the Army's efforts in Operational Power and Energy Strategy, the DoD Operational Energy Strategy, and the National Defense Strategy. "The ITEP will greatly improve performance with the Black Hawk and Apache and reduce overhead and sustainment costs," utility helicopters project manager Col. Thomas Todd said. "I am exceptionally proud of my team who has made tremendous strides in managing a very complex program with impressive results. Together, we're working to continue to reduce the burden on our Soldiers and equip our aviation fleet with a capability that will exponentially increase our mission effectiveness."
The Common Engine Product Office also manages and sustains the T700 Family of Engines which continues to be a top priority for the Army.
"The T700 team has done a tremendous job this past year," Kuykendall said. "The T700 team exceeded its delivery schedule and also ensured engines and spare parts were available to the war fighter, an important responsibility and great achievement during a time of war."
Besides sustaining the T700, the T700 team is also busy with an effort to upgrade all T700 engines to the 701D version and remove earlier obsolete versions from the inventory. Additionally, a major effort is ongoing to develop common engine controls to reduce cost, inventory requirements and enhance engine capability.
"Looking back on the past year, I couldn't be prouder to be a part of such a professional and cohesive organization," Kuykendall said. "We will continue to press forward anticipating the needs of the Soldier providing quality equipment and professional service to ensure their continue success in the future."