The budget approval process in Washington has been volatile and unpredictable over the last several years. Thankfully, ITEP, the Army’s #1 aviation modernization program, continued to garner strong support from both the Department of Defense and Congress.
The Army requested $204.3 million for ITEP in the FY18 President’s Budget Request and congressional funding support is essential in keeping the program on schedule. Robust funding now, and in the future, ensures the most capable engine will be delivered to our nation’s combat aviation units. The President’s Budget underscores the importance of the ITEP for the Army.
“ITEP gives the capacity for one Black Hawk to carry the load of two, pretty phenomenal and obviously some good range,” said Army Lt. Gen. Joseph Anderson, Army Deputy Chief of Staff, G-3/5/7. “What that engine allows us to do is be more efficient.”
As Loren Thompson of the Lexington Institute stated, “The Improved Turbine Engine Program is the only effort underway that has any hope of boosting the combat performance of the current fleet in a time frame relevant to the medium-term fight. It also could power a next-generation replacement of the Kiowa scout helicopter. Without this investment, Army aviation will be hobbled in high-end fights 10 years from now.”
It is essential that members of Congress remain aware of ITEP’s importance and continue supporting the program, which will result in a better engine that improves mission capabilities, saves lives and reduces costs.