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Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Rotor & Wing: Rotorcraft Report: GE Wins Contract to Develop U.S. Army’s Next Engine

PRODUCTS | ENGINES

The U.S. Army has awarded a multi-million-dollar contract to GE to help it develop the next-generation engine for rotorcraft applications. The contract taps GE for the next phase of the Advanced Affordable Turbine Engine (AATE) program. Under it, GE will continue to work with the Army in investing in state-of-the-art engineering and refining design practices to help establish the next-generation military attack and utility helicopter powerplant.

AATE aims to develop a 3,000-shp engine to demonstrate advanced gas-turbine technology that improves power performance and fuel consumption characteristics and also enhances part durability and reliability. These attributes are needed to meet the emerging endurance and cruise requirements associated with future Army aviation platforms, the service says.

In concert with other Army engine demonstrator programs, program officials said, AATE will establish a validated technology base from which future Army rotorcraft engine engineering development efforts may evolve with minimum risk, time, and development cost. The overall goals include a 25-percent reduction in specific fuel consumption, a 65-percent improvement in shaft-horsepower-to-weight, a 20-percent improvement in design life, a 35-percent reduction in production and maintenance cost, and a 15-percent reduction in development cost.

AATE also aims to demonstrate technologies to minimize vehicle operation and support costs.

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