ATEC Files Protest on U.S. Army’s Decision to Award ITEP EMD Contract to General Electric

The Advanced Turbine Engine Company (ATEC) has protested the U.S. Army’s decision to award General Electric an Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) contract for its Improved Turbine Engine Program (ITEP), seeking to develop next generation of Black Hawk and Apache helicopter engines.

The protest was filed on Feb 19 with the Government Accountability Office (GAO). ATEC is a joint venture of Honeywell International Inc. and Pratt & Whitney, a division of United Technologies Corporation (UTC).

ATEC President Craig Madden said, “In our review of the evaluation, we clearly offered the best value through a combination of a highly rated and technically superior engine that was judged to be much lower risk, and believe we did so significantly under the government’s budget. We are requesting that the government review these facts and award the ITEP contract to ATEC, the best engine and the one that our warfighters and taxpayers deserve.”

The ITEP, formerly called the Advanced Affordable Turbine Engine (AATE) program, is the U.S. Army’s endeavor to re-engine its fleet of Boeing AH-64 Apache attack helicopters and Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk utility helicopters. Apaches and Black Hawks are currently powered by General Electric (GE) T700 engine.

U.S. Army AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopter. Army Photo by SPC Bryan Rankin
A U.S. Army UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter in Afghanistan. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Vernell Hall.
General Electric T700-701C turboshaft engines

The contenders for the project were ATEC HPW3000 engine designated as T900, and GE Aviation’s GE3000 engine designated as T901-GE-900. The T901-GE-900 was selected for the EMD phase of the program earlier this month and this decision is now being protested by ATEC.

ATEC HPW3000 (T900)
General Electric T901 (GE3000), a turboshaft engine in the 3,000 shp (2,200 kW) class selected for the U.S. Army’s Improved Turbine Engine Program (ITEP).

The engine that is ultimately selected will also power certain variants of the Army’s Future Vertical Lift (FVL) family of advanced rotorcraft including the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA). ITEP is intended to revolutionize Army aviation to meet the demanding requirements of the coming decades.

AVX Armed Reconnaissance and Attack Aircraft Concept for U.S. DoD’s Future Vertical Lift (FVL) Program Capability Set 1 (CS1). AVX Photo

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