Moulton Helps Land $517 Million Army Contract To Build Helicopter Engines 6th District
Feb 04, 2019 11:13AM
SALEM – Today the United States Army announced it has awarded a single $517,375,800 contract to General Electric’s Improved Turbine Engine Program, which will lead to new jobs in Lynn building turbines that power engines for the Army’s Apache and Black Hawk helicopters. Rep. Seth Moulton has been a strong advocate for the program as a member of the Armed Services Committee in Congress.
“This is a game changer in terms of bringing good paying jobs to our community,” Moulton said. “GE Lynn is on the rebound, and this contract is going to be jet fuel for advanced manufacturing in Massachusetts.”
The contract announced today will fund the Improved Turbine Engine Program (ITEP) at General Electric’s Lynn-based aviation facility.
Moulton has pushed for years to secure funding for the ITEP in Lynn using his seat on the House Armed Services Committee. The committee writes the National Defense Authorization Act, which outlines the military’s annual funding priorities. Since arriving in Congress, Moulton has ensured the NDAA has supported the Improved Turbine Engine Program each fiscal year.
The Improved Turbine Engine is a powerful new engine for the Army’s Apache and Black Hawk helicopters that will make the aircraft lighter and handle better. For example, the Army has sought a more powerful engine to support the Black Hawk, which has gained weight with the incorporation of new technologies. According to Defense News, the Black Hawk has gained, on average, 78 pounds per year since its inception.
The helicopter’s weight and power affects where the Army can fly it. The Black Hawk is currently too heavy to fly in more than 50 percent of Afghanistan’s airspace, and it can only operate in about 84 percent of the world. The parts made in Lynn will play a key role in making the Black Hawk more powerful and lighter, which will allow the helicopter to fly in about 98 percent of the world’s airspace once the Improved Turbine Engine is on board.
In 2016, Moulton helped secure the contract to design the engines at GE’s facility in Lynn, saying then, “It shows that GE Lynn is positioned to compete aggressively for a leading role in GE’s future engineering and advanced manufacturing needs.”
The contract announced today sets the project timeline at 66-months and creates incentives to accelerate the schedule by up to 12-months to reduce development cost. The contract will yield prototypes that the Army can test before awarding a new contract for mass production.
The Army’s next generation of helicopters, called the Future Vertical Lift family of helicopters, will also use the Improved Turbine Engine. These new aircraft include the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA).