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Thu, Aug 16, 2007

US Army Awards Production Contract To GE Aviation

New Engine To Increase Hot-And-High Mission Capability Of Black Hawks

The US Army exercised an option for production engines under a competitively awarded contract for the YT706-GE-700, a growth version of the CT7-8 turboshaft engine, for its US Special Forces MH-60M helicopter program, the company announced this week.

The emergency power demonstration engine test was successfully completed in the Lynn Product Development and Delivery test cell. The engine ran at well over the rated maximum temperature for 10 minutes, 29 seconds. All Production Airworthiness Release (PAR) qualification testing has been successfully completed.

A total of 13 engine/component tests and 60 analysis reports have been submitted since the Army awarded GE the T706 contract in July 2005. This final test characterized the engine response to severe over-temperature conditions, successfully validating a design that will provide additional emergency power capability to flight crews.

"We are very pleased with the engine's performance and the results throughout the series of intense testing," said John Martin, MH-60M Program Manager. "We were able to meet our objectives and keep to the test schedule, which is a credit to the LPDD team and their cooperation."

Along with completing its PAR testing, the MH-60M test aircraft, equipped with two T706 engines, completed more than 40 hours of flight testing. This successfully demonstrated the enhanced performance of the T706 and helped verify the engine-airframe compatibility.

The YT706 is based on the Federal Aviation Administration-certified CT7-8A engine. Compared with the T700 currently powering H-60 helicopters, the YT706 has a larger compressor, hot section improvements and a full authority digital engine control.

The YT706 provides up to 30 percent more power than the current T700-701C and will increase the hot-and-high mission capability of the MH-60M Black Hawk, according to the company.

The YT706-GE-700 was selected two years ago to power up to 61 MH-60M aircraft procured by the US Army for its Special Operations applications.

Initial production deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2008.

FMI: www.geae.com

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