Engine integration for Apaches under way

The 2100shp RTM 322 engine, manufactured by Rolls Royce and Turbomeca, is the first to be offered on the Apache helicopter with full authority digital electronic controls for more precise engine operation. Initial integration of the RTM 322 engine into WAH-64 Apache helicopters for the UK is under way at Boeing in Mesa, Ariz.

Commencement of ground run testing of the RTM 322 engine marks a major programme milestone, and is the result of more than eight years of integration efforts.

At the beginning of April, the two RTM 322 engines were run simultaneously for a total of 54min at rates up to 101% of normal rotor rpm and 30% torque. Expanded ground run testing is scheduled to take place over the next few months.

The MOD has ordered 67 WAH-64 Apaches with Longbow fire control radars and RTM 322 engines. GKN Westland Helicopters, of Yeovil is the prime contractor. Boeing and Rolls-Royce-Turbomeca are major subcontractors on the programme.

Fastener specialist Phildas has announced that it has received an order to supply custom designed self-locking nuts for incorporation into the Apache.

The British Army’s order for Apaches is worth in excess of £2 billion. They are due for delivery between 2000 and 2003.