The Army’s T901 engine integration adds maintainer capability with Prognostic and Predictive Maintenance

By Cindy MitchellOctober 30, 2023

Army Maintainers Benefit From PPMx
1 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Army maintainer personnel benefit from advanced technology that PPMx brings. They are better equipped to anticipate future component failures and perform proactive and planned maintenance at the most opportune times and locations, using the correct parts and tools, while prolonging the lifespan of equipment. (Pfc. Abraham Ziong, AH-64D Apache helicopter crew chief for Company D, Task Force Lobos, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division. Image courtesy of U.S. Army, SSG Richard Wrigley) (Photo Credit: Courtesy) VIEW ORIGINAL
Army Aviation’s Future Generation Engine Completes Successful Fit Test
2 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – The Additively Manufactured (AM) 3D model of the T901 engine, shown installed in the engine bay of an Apache AH-64E helicopter for fit testing in January 2020. Using PPMx, the T901 brings more advanced technology and health management, part life tracking and available engine data. (Courtesy Photo) (Photo Credit: Courtesy) VIEW ORIGINAL
Predictive Maintenance Defined
3 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – The Government Accountability Office defines predictive maintenance as any effort that uses condition-monitoring technology or analysis of historical data to anticipate maintenance needs in a manner that reduces unscheduled reactive maintenance or overly prescriptive preventative maintenance. The GAO’s definition of predictive maintenance includes CBM+ and PPMx, along with other terms used in by DoD and the military services. The T901 EHMS automatically collects data and conducts diagnostic analysis to aid in the troubleshooting and predictive maintenance process. (Image credit: GAO 23-105556) (Photo Credit: Courtesy) VIEW ORIGINAL
AM, 3D model of the T901 engine
4 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – The AM, 3D model of the T901 engine, shown installed in the engine bay of a UH-60M Black Hawk for fit check testing in February 2020. With the T901, Helicopter maintainers will have greater access to data due to the T901’s advanced EHMS. The T901 engine is outfitted with sensors, software, algorithms and the Electronic Engine Control Unit, which all serve to identify and report most everything happening as the engine operates. (Image credit: Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company) (Photo Credit: Courtesy) VIEW ORIGINAL

The Army has designed the T901 Improved Turbine Engine to be compliant with Prognostic and Predictive Maintenance (PPMx) technologies. PPMx, a predictive maintenance strategy based on relevant data, helps to increase operational readiness by identifying potential maintenance issues and part failures before they occur. An extensive array of sensors which enable this technology outfit the T901’s many components. The T901 is the new 3,000 shaft horsepower engine designed to fit within the current engine mounting, nacelle and installation envelope of the AH-64E Apache and the UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters. It will replace the current T700-GE-701D engine and will also power the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA).

The T901, with its onboard PPMx system known as Engine Health Management System, or EHMS, supports DoD Instruction (DoDI) 4151.22 (Aug. 14, 2020): Condition-Based Maintenance Plus for Materiel Maintenance. DoDI 4151.22 describes Condition Based Maintenance Plus (CBM+) as a shift in maintenance behavior and practices enabled by technology that focuses on condition monitoring, proactive predictions and automated failure analysis as well as future data-driven insight. With CBM+ (now known as PPMx), Army maintainer personnel are better equipped to anticipate future component failures. They can perform proactive and predictive maintenance at the most opportune times and locations using the correct parts and tools, while prolonging the time on wing for specific components.

PPMx features of T901 also support the Army Climate Strategy (ACS) Line of Effort 2: Acquisition and Logistics. T901 engines contain components that provide self-diagnosis and automated maintenance alerts. This capability is a key driver for employing the advanced technology of anticipatory logistics in reducing sustainment demand. Additionally, associated Greenhouse Gas emissions will be reduced by optimizing parts inventories and gaining supply chain efficiencies brought about by using PPMx.

The T901 engine’s PPMx system allows increased technology and added functionality, which will enable Army Aviation the necessary capability to apply, integrate and improve reliability and maintenance effectiveness on both the enduring and future fleets of helicopters. PPMx will enable proactive engine maintenance that is planned around critical missions. This will increase Army Aviation’s capability in the form of maximized reliability.

The ATE Project Office is one of nine Program Executive Office, Aviation project offices. Located at Redstone Arsenal, Ala., the ATE PO is responsible for centrally managing the Army’s rotary wing turbine engine and electrical power capability for U.S. Army Aviation and coalition partners. Cindy Mitchell is an Avion Solutions employee supporting the Aviation Turbine Engines Project Office in operations.