Army Research Laboratory awards GE US$5.1 million contract to advance hybrid electric engine technology

US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, Army Research Laboratory (DEVCOM ARL) has awarded GE a US$5.1 million (£3.9 million) research and development contract for the Applied Research Collaborative Systematic Turboshaft Electrification Project (ARC-STEP), bolstering GE’s efforts to develop hybrid electric engine technologies for the future of flight.

Included in this project is research, development, testing, and evaluation of a megawatt (MW) class electrified powerplant that further develops technologies applicable to Army Future Vertical Lift (FVL).

ARC-STEP will use a GE CT7 turboshaft engine, combined with a GE-produced electric machine and power electronics. Subject matter experts from GE and the Army across turbine engines, electrical systems and thermal management disciplines will investigate and integrate technologies that enable lightweight, efficient, reliable and safe hybrid-electric propulsion systems. Tests will take place at the GE’s Research campus in Niskayuna, N.Y.

This contract award comes shortly after NASA selected GE for the Electric Powertrain Flight Demonstration (EPFD) project to mature a MW-class integrated hybrid electric powertrain and demonstrate flight readiness for single-aisle aircraft. The EPFD and ARC-STEP awards are helping GE to continue building extensive experience with hybrid electric systems and electrical power generation.

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