GE Aviation reports it has in hand an “indefinite delivery indefinite quantity” contract from the U.S. Army to continue producing the T700 turboshaft engines, which are installed in a wide range of military aircraft, notably the Boeing AH-64 Apache twin-shaft attack helicopter and Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter, both used extensively by the Army.
The contract, which is valued at more than $1 billion and comprises as many as 2,500 engines, would also support the U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Coast Guard, Foreign Military Sales (FMS) and other government agency program requirements through the two-year period. The Army made the award to GE Aviation in December 2016, but it was made public only recently.
“This is terrific news for GE and serves as continued validation of the unprecedented capability and reliability of the T700,” according to Harry Nahatis, vice president and general manager of GE Aviation’s turboshaft and turboprop engines.
The T700/CT7 engine series was designed to operate reliably and maintained easily; it has been in service since 1978 for the Black Hawk, proving its value in helicopter service and as an alternative to the less-reliable turboprop engines originally designed for those helicopters.
T700 engines are installed in numerous variants of the Black Hawk (e.g., Seahawk, Jayhawk, Pave Hawk), the Bell UH-1Y Huey, AW-1Z Super Cobra, 214ST Super Transport, and many more. According to GE Aviation, the T700/CT7 family of turboshaft and turboprop engines power 15 types of helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft, for more than 130 customers in over 50 countries. In 2015, the T700/CT7 family surpassed 20,000 units delivered and more than 100 million total flight hours.
The engines are manufactured at GE Aviation’s plant in Lynn, Mass. In addition to that location, GE operates turboshaft engine design, manufacturing, assembly, testing, and overhaul operations in Rutland, Vt., Hookset, N.H., Madisonville, Ken., Dayton, Oh., Muskegon, Mich., Strother, Kan., and Jacksonville, Fla.
According to Nahatis, "By consistently investing in upgrades that infuse GE’s most advanced commercial and military technologies, GE’s T700 has evolved through the years to meet or exceed our customers’ performance expectations across a range of operating environments around the globe.”