by Miranda Myrick, PAO

In partnership with defense contractor Honeywell International Inc., Anniston Army Depot completed the first set of durability AGT 1500 turbine engines as part of the Army's Total Integrated Engine Revitalization, or TIGER, program.

The four engines, along with four upgraded transmissions, were sent in July for testing at Yuma Proving Ground, Ariz., where the powerpack was mated and tested in the M1 Abrams tank.

"We hope this test will give us more information on the new parts we've put into these engines and let us know just how much more durable the tank will be," said Daryl Fleming, production controller for the depot's turbine engine production lines.

The Army expects the TIGER program to "improve and extend the life of the AGT1500 turbine engine used to power the Abrams family of vehicles," according to a 2006 TACOM Life Cycle Management Command announcement.

Under a long-term agreement, the Program Manager Heavy Brigade Combat Team, TACOM LCMC, ANAD and Honeywell want to give the Soldier a more durable tank while reducing the cost of operating it.

Honeywell, which occupies building space at the depot under facility use agreements for various partnering programs, provides engineering support and integrated supply chain management for the TIGER program, as well as durability design improvements, material management and data collection.

Fleming said the depot performs all the labor for these special durability engines, using both new and reclaimed parts that the regular turbine engine doesn't have.

"This looks to be a better product for the Soldier, and we're proud to be a part of it," said Fleming.

The four X1100 transmissions that went to Yuma with the engines were upgraded from their regular 13,000-mile capability to one that will run for 19,000 miles, said Trent Stewart, production controller. He said all four transmissions passed testing.

Workers in the depot's transmission shop completed the four specially upgraded pieces of equipment in five days.

"It was an unbelievable effort on Anniston's part to be able to come together and get them built in one week," said Stewart. "When a transmission comes off the line here, it's as good as brand new."

Stewart said the upgrade work on the transmissions is done in conjunction with PM-HBCT, TACOM LCMC and Indianapolis, Ind.-based Allison Transmission.

Depot officials say more work here is expected on the TIGER program, but they don't know when it will start. They said they're waiting for more data to be collected on the specialized parts they used before they begin upgrading additional engines and transmissions.

About 400 depot employees are part of the TIGER program work, said Fleming.