The Advanced Turbine Engine Company – ATEC – is a joint venture of Pratt & Whitney and Honeywell. ATEC’s dual-spool T900 engine for Black Hawks and Apaches will help provide battlespace superiority well into the future.
Both Pratt & Whitney and Honeywell have a proven track record of successful partnerships with the U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, and U.S. Navy as well as with numerous international allies. ATEC will continue that track record by partnering with the Army to achieve the service’s goals for its Improved Turbine Engine Program (ITEP) and building the T900 engine that will provide Black Hawks and Apaches with more power, better fuel consumption, easier maintenance and lower life-cycle costs.
As the president of ATEC, Craig Madden, has said: “[The current engine] can only carry five troops in the back of the aircraft when they need to be able to carry 13. With the ITEP engine they’ll be able to carry a full load of troops in the back. For Apaches, they currently have to do a trade-off between ammunition and fuel on missions. With our engine, you won’t have to do that, they’ll be able to carry a full load of ammunition and fuel.”
Jerry Wheeler, vice president of programs, added, “The Black Hawk and the Apache will have all the power they need to do their missions safely. One of the biggest advantages of the two-spool architecture is its fundamental physics gives you an advantage in fuel consumption, so the engine will be expected to burn less fuel … than a single-spool engine would … [I]f you eliminate the need to have refueling points on the battlefield, then you eliminate the need to actually get fuel to that refueling point, you eliminate the need to put soldiers in the location staffing the refueling points, potentially putting them in harm’s way.”
Specifically, the dual-spool T900 is designed to provide 10% more power growth capability in the rotorcraft than its competition, allowing Apaches and Black Hawks to expand their mission capabilities in hot and high conditions.