PATUXENT RIVER, Md. (NNS) -- The Naval Air Systems Command's (NAVAIR's) H-46 Program Office (PMA-226) formally presented a T58-GE-16A Engine Reliability Improvement Program (ERIP) engine to the fleet in a ceremony held May 21 at Marine Corps Air Station New River, N.C.
ERIP is a $300 million program managed by NAVAIR's Program Management Group (AIR-1.0) that will deliver 446 T58-GE-16A engines to the H-46 fleet. Lt. Gen. Michael Hough, Marine Corps commandant for Aviation, and Maj. Gen. John Castellaw, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, accepted the engine on behalf of the fleet.
"There is no doubt ERIP will save Marines' and Sailors' lives over the next 14 years as the aircraft is scheduled to fly until 2017," said Lt. Col. Mitch Bauman, PMA-226. "Anytime you can deliver a well-performing product ahead of schedule and below cost, you have truly made a contribution to the U.S. warfighter."
The T58-16 engine is used to power the CH-46E, the centerpiece of Marine Corps aviation assault support, and the primary aircraft Marines use to accomplish their mission of combat troop transport. ERIP restores the T58-16 engine original design reliability/power specifications, addressing the H-46 fleet's top safety concerns of reliability and power degradation.
"After just 28 months in the acquisition process, ERIP moved into full rate production," said Pam O'Dell, NAVAIR's deputy commander for Acquisition and Operations. "I congratulate the ERIP team members on their success, and challenge them to continue serving as the ultimate technology provider to the American warfighter."
HMM-266 received the first four ERIP engines in April. Production quickly ramps up to eight engines per month in June and remains at that constant rate for the remainder of the program.
Delivered under budget and ahead of schedule while exceeding performance objectives, ERIP will extend the T58-16 engine life, reverse a 20-year reduction in reliability, reduce life cycle cost and restore power margins through a new engine core with significant reliability and safety improvements.
"This operational improvement will double the time on wing and significantly restore the power of the T58-GE-16 engine," Bauman said. "It has been a total team effort among the stakeholders of NAVAIR, HQMC [Headquarters, United States Marine Corps], OPNAV [Office of Chief of Naval Operations] and the fleet."
NAVAIR provides advanced warfare technology through the efforts of a seamless, integrated, worldwide network of aviation technology experts.
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