LYNN, MASSACHUSETTS - GE and Honeywell have entered the test phase of the LV100-5 turboshaft engine development activity as part of the U.S. Army's Abrams-Crusader Common Engine (ACCE) program.

The LV100-5 engine was selected last year by the Army to power both the General Dynamics M1 Abrams tank and the United Defense Crusader self-propelled howitzer, based on the engine's light weight, high reliability, low operating costs and full Abrams-Crusader commonality.

The Army expects to realize savings of more than $5 billion in operating and support costs as the result of re-engining approximately 2,800 M1 Abrams tanks with the LV100-5 engine. In the case of the Crusader self-propelled howitzer, powering with the LV100-5 rather than a diesel-fueled engine will reduce overall vehicle weight by more than three tons without compromising mission capability.

Testing of several engine components, including the inlet system, the combustor and the power turbine diffuser, is under way. In addition, full engine testing of an LV100-2, modified to simulate unique features of the Abrams-Crusader LV100-5 engine, has begun. Testing of the first complete LV100-5 engine is scheduled to begin in mid-2002, followed by intense vehicle testing on both the Abrams tank and the Crusader howitzer.

Overall development of the LV100-5 is managed by a GE/Honeywell team. Within the team, Honeywell's specific responsibilities include the design and manufacture of the compressor, recuperator, auxiliary gearbox and control system, while GE Aircraft Engines has responsibility for design and manufacture of the combustor, high-pressure turbine and power turbine.

Production of the LV100-5 is scheduled to begin in 2004.