Two GE Aerospace T901-GE-900 engines have been delivered to Sikorsky’s facility in West Palm Beach, Florida for integration and testing aboard a UH-60 Black Hawk as part of a US Army upgrade programme.

Developed through the army’s Improved Turbine Engine Program (ITEP), the T901 is designed to boost performance of the UH-60 and Boeing AH-64 Apache, particularly in hot and high conditions, and cut fuel burn.

ITEP Unveiling-c-Sikorsky

Source: Sikorsky

T901 engines will deliver 50% more power and 25% lower fuel burn than current T700s

Power is increased by 50% over the 2,000shp (1,490kW-rated) GE T700 engines that currently power both platforms, helping them remain in service for decades to come. Fuel consumption is also reduced by 25%.

“Increased performance and range offered by the T901 are high-value capabilities the army is able to implement on the Black Hawk in a cost-effective way that will not require expensive re-engineering,” says Hamid Salim, vice-president of Army and Air Force Systems at Sikorsky.

“The ITEP and other enhancement efforts ensure the Black Hawk remains in operation well into the 2070s.”

Sikorsky will use two Black Hawks for the flight-test campaign to accelerate the programme. It has received all the necessary hardware and instrumentation to support that effort, the airframer says.

Earlier this year, it indicated that flights would begin around six months after the start of engine installation.

In April, Sikorsky became the first manufacturer to run a T901 in an aircraft, using its Raider X for ground tests to help de-risk the Black Hawk integration and flight-test effort.

The Raider X was Sikorsky’s competitive prototype developed for the army’s now cancelled Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) programme and was due to be powered by the T901.

Although it has no plans to fly the Raider X prototype, Sikorsky has continued ground testing the asset to gather more engine data.

FARA was axed in February by US defence chiefs, in favour of spending elsewhere, notably on improvements to the Black Hawk and extending the longevity of the fleet.