Last month, the US Army awarded GE Aviation an ‘Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity’ contract worth more than $1 billion for the production of up to 1,700 more T700 turbo-shaft engines in support of Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Foreign Military Sales and other government agency programme requirements through to 2024.
These engines are manufactured at GE Aviation’s facility in Lynn, Massachusetts.
Harry Nahatis, general manager of GE Aviation’s rotorcraft and turboprop engines (www.geaviation.com
), said: “This new contract will extend T700 production to 46 years.
The T700 has remained the pre-eminent medium-lift helicopter engine through the continuous infusion of military and commercial technology.”
Developed for the US Army to overcome the many shortcomings of 1960s-era helicopter engines (experienced in South East Asia), the T700/CT7 turboshaft was designed to operate reliably in any environment and to be easily maintained.
Upon service entry in 1978 in the Black Hawk, the engine quickly ‘proved its mettle’ in service, and its operational benefits also made it an ideal derivative as a turboprop power-plant.
Today, the T700/CT7 family of turboshaft and turboprop engines powers 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 flight hours.
The T700/CT7 engine line has become increasingly powerful and reliable during its 41-year history, and many technological advances have been incorporated to ensure that the engines retain all the proven features and operating characteristics of earlier versions, while delivering enhanced performance.