EVENDALE, OHIO -- General Electric Company and United Technologies Corporation have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for a new military helicopter engine program. Under this MOU, the companies are negotiating a business venture that will compete for the U.S. Army's Common Engine Program (CEP). The CEP is a program envisioned to be used in growth applications of the Black Hawk, Apache and Seahawk helicopters, which today are powered by a common GE T700 engine.The CEP goals require 25 percent better fuel economy, a 60 percent power-to-weight improvement, and a 20 percent reduction in operation and support (O&S) costs. Under the CEP, the U.S. Army is planning to develop an advanced-technology engine for a modernized version of the Black Hawk. The Black Hawk Modernization Operational Requirements Document (ORD), the official U.S. Army document that defines the requirements for the modernized Black Hawk helicopter, establishes range and payload performance levels. Compliance with the ORD can only be achieved by a new centerline engine that meets the CEP goals. Additionally, the CEP engine provides the low fuel consumption, high power and low weight that will be required for future modernized versions of the U.S. Army Apache and U.S. Navy Seahawk helicopters, resulting in a common, next-generation propulsion system across all three platforms. General Electric is acting through GE Aircraft Engines (GEAE) and its Turboshaft Engine department in Lynn, Massachusetts; United Technologies is acting through Pratt & Whitney (P&W) and its Small Military Engines (SME) division in West Palm Beach, Florida. The venture is expected to reflect a 60/40 GE/P&W ownership and work-split structure for the CEP. "This team maximizes our ability to meet the goals of the Army as we draw from the resources, experience, and technical expertise of our two world-class companies," said Russ Sparks, vice president and general manager, GE Aircraft Engines Military Engines Operation, "and our mission is to achieve these goals at the lowest program risk to the U.S. Army.""Our unique teaming arrangement will ensure one face to the customer throughout the CEP life cycle," said Steve Finger, president of Pratt & Whitney Military Engines. "We are excited about this program-we feel GE Aircraft Engines and Pratt & Whitney Small Military Engines have the complementary technologies necessary to respond to the demanding requirements of the U.S Army CEP." The GEAE and P&W SME team anticipates that the U.S. Army will initiate a CEP competition in FY2000 or 2001. In preparation for that competition, the team expects to commence pre-development work this year. The team plans to offer the U.S. Army a CEP engine that will incorporate Department of Defense-sponsored JTAGG/IHPTET technology and the complementary technology capabilities of both companies. This would allow the team to meet the CEP engine performance goals with the most cost-effective technology and the lowest-risk program. JTAGG: Joint Turbine Advanced Gas Generator

IHPTET: Integrated High Performance Turbine Engine Technology