The U.S. Army awarded GE Aviation an Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract this month for the continued production of T700 turboshaft engines.
The production contract is valued at more than $1B (USD) for as many as 1,700 T700 engines if completely exercised. These engines are manufactured and shipped from GE Aviation’s facility in Lynn, Mass. The engines are in support of the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Foreign Military Sales (FMS) and other government agency program requirements through 2024.
“GE is grateful to the U.S. Army for the opportunity to continue providing reliable power and support to the U.S. military fleet with our T700 engines,” said Harry Nahatis, vice president and general manager of GE Aviation’s Rotorcraft & Turboprop Engines. “This new contract will extend T700 production to 46 years. The T700 has remained the pre-eminent medium-lift helicopter engine through continuous infusion of military and commercial technology.”
Developed for the U.S. Army to overcome the many shortcomings 1960s-era helicopter engines experienced in Southeast Asia, the T700/CT7 turboshaft was designed to operate reliably in any environment and be easily maintained. Upon service entry in 1978 in the Black Hawk, the engine quickly proved its mettle in helicopter service, and its operational benefits also made it an ideal derivative as a turboprop powerplant.
Today, the T700/CT7 family of turboshaft and turboprop engines power 15 types of helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft with more than 130 customers in more than 50 countries. The T700/CT7 family has surpassed 20,000 units delivered and more than 100 million total flight hours.
The T700/CT7 engine line has become increasingly more powerful and reliable during its 41-year history. Many technological advances have been incorporated into the subsequent growth versions. Current models in the 2,000-3,000 shaft-horsepower range retain all the proven features and operating characteristics of earlier versions while delivering enhanced performance.
The highly reliable T700/CT7 design has proven itself in the harshest environments, logging more than five million flight hours in hot-harsh combat zones like Iraq and Afghanistan. T700/CT7 helicopter engines power a variety of civil aviation and military applications including transport, utility and attack, medical evacuation, air rescue, firefighting, special operations and marine patrol. They serve all five branches of the U.S. military, numerous international customers and civil aviation operators.
Prime turboshaft applications include the Sikorsky Black Hawk, Seahawk, Jayhawk, Pave Hawk, S-70, S/H-92, CH-148 Cyclone, HH-60W CRH, and VIP transport helicopters; the Boeing AH-64 Apache, Bell UH-1Y Huey, AW-1Z Super Cobra, 214ST Super Transport and 525 Relentless, Kaman SH-2G Super Seasprite, NHIndustries NH90, Leonardo AW101 and AW189 and KAI Surion.
GE’s turboshaft design, manufacturing, assembly, test, and overhaul are supported by the following locations: Lynn, MA; Rutland, Vt.; Hookset, N.H.; Madisonville, Ky.; Dayton, Ohio; Muskegon, Mich.; Strother, Kan.; and Jacksonville, Fla.