ITEP Appears in Boeing’s Apache Version 6.5

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ITEP Appears in Boeing’s Apache Version 6.5
General Electric Aviation’s Improved Turbine Engine Program (ITEP) product appears at U.S. defence company Boeing’s next-generation Apache Version 6.5 concept. The company showcased the model during the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) 2022 event in Washington, DC. In 2019 General Electric's subsidiary won a potential $517.4m engineering and manufacturing development contract to provide a new turbine engine, the new T901, for the U.S. Army’s Apache and Black Hawk helicopters. The T901 will also power the U.S. Army’s Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) program, which develops advanced aircraft to address the Army’s scout helicopter requirements.

On 10 October, Boeing officials updated its fixed and rotary-wing wing programmes, stating that the Apache would be the U.S. Army’s “principal attack helicopter” for the next 25-30 years, with the most recent ‘E’ variant having 650 units manufactured to date. Around 1,260 Apache models of all variants are in service worldwide, and the helicopter has been in service for 36 years.

ITEP Appears in Boeing’s Apache Version 6.5

The Version 6.5 concept, formerly known as the V6X, is Boeing’s first step toward determining what capabilities the variant beyond the E model could have and utilising the so-called Modular Open Systems Approach to enable rapid upgrades to platform and subsystems while in service.

The Version 6.5 Apache concept would be networked using the NATO-standard Link 16 system. In early October, Viasat, a U.S. defence satellite communications company, sold its Link 16 tactical data link business to L3Harris Technologies for $1.96 billion.

What exactly is the ITEP?

Apache and Black Hawk helicopters gained capabilities and weight in time. They are asked to perform in higher and hotter temperatures than they were designed for. This challenge has necessitated the need for additional power. In response, the U.S. Army established the ITEP to develop a new turboshaft engine that would provide 50 per cent core power and 25 per cent better specific fuel consumption while lowering life cycle costs.

ITEP Appears in Boeing’s Apache Version 6.5

The Company designed the new T901 in response to this need. The T901 engine was preferred for the ITEP to be used on existing Apache and Black Hawk helicopters and in the U.S. Army’s FARA programme. The T901 must be integrated into two competing airframes: the Bell 360 Invictus and the Sikorsky Raider X.

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