The U.S. Army needs to plan for flat or even declining defense budgets. One area that would be particularly hard-hit if budgets tighten is Army aviation. The Army currently operates some 2,000 Black Hawk and Apache helicopters, both which are in the midst of major upgrade programs. A new improved turbine engine is the most important of these. The Army will have to choose between a traditional, single-spool design offered by General Electric and an innovative, dual-spool engine built by the Advanced Turbine Engine Company, a partnership between Pratt & Whitney and Honeywell. The dual-spool approach provides both near- and far-term advantages, particular in a difficult budgetary environment. I have written more about this here.
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