Honeywell Aerospace has secured a $476 million (€400 million) contract for new production and spare T55-GA-714A engines for the US Army’s CH-47 CHINOOK helicopter fleet, the company announced on 9 March. The contract assures supply of spare engines for the service through 2024 and new-build aircraft requirements for US allies.
“Supporting the US Army CHINOOK program is a bedrock principle for Honeywell Aerospace,” commented Steven Williams, VP of Defense Aftermarket. “Our mission is manufacturing, maintaining, and modernizing T55 engines for the critical heavy-lift mission, and we take this mission seriously.”
Securing this engine production contract follows a milestone year for the T55 engine. In 2020, Honeywell won a competitive repair and overhaul contract for the engine and completed a new engine repair and overhaul facility in Phoenix, allowing for the colocation of new-build and repair work. The T55 Center of Excellence provides for a shared workforce, facilities, and engineering resources between both engine lines, delivering up to 20 engines/month.
Also in 2020, Honeywell entered into a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) with the US Army to demonstrate and fly its upgraded T55-GA-714C on the CHINOOK. The new 6,000hp engine is 23% more powerful and consumes 9% less fuel than the current T55. New modifications also make the next-generation T55 easier to maintain, with lower operating costs and increased readiness. Work now under way in phase 1 of the programme, with ground and flight demonstrations expected to begin next year. The new 714C variant of the T55 is designed to be affordably incorporated into the 714A as an upgrade kit during overhaul by Honeywell or the Army.