July 26, 2020

House Funding a Boom for GE River Works Plant

LYNN — A U.S. House of Representatives version of the fiscal year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act would provide $249 million for the GE Aviation River Works plant in Lynn.

The funding, championed by U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton, would go toward GE’s Improved Turbine Engine Program (ITEP), which makes a new generation of engines for the military’s Blackhawk and Apache helicopters.

Moulton, a former Marine Corps officer who flew in Blackhawk helicopters powered by the River Works plant, has helped to secure more than $1 billion to the program during his time in Congress.

Last year, Moulton announced the GE River Works plant had been awarded a $517 million contract to build ITEP prototypes — the first stage toward full production, according to his office.

“Since the very beginning of our country, Massachusetts’ workers have built the tools and technologies to protect it,” Moulton said last week. “Once again this year, the defense bill includes funding that will support hundreds of thousands of jobs throughout New England, including in Lynn, where the headlines at River Works are finally about hiring.

“I’m also proud to announce that I added the Brandon Act to the bill, which will help more people seek out mental health care. It’s one of several mental health care policies I secured that will help service members who serve all of us.”

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) sets the funding levels, expenditures and authorizations for the Department of Defense each fiscal year.

The House and Senate Armed Services Committees — Moulton sits on the House committee — write versions of the bill for their respective chambers.

Both versions are then negotiated into a final bill, which is sent to the president’s desk to be signed into law, according to Moulton’s office.

The Senate also passed its own version of the NDAA last week.

According to GE Aviation, the U.S. Army launched the ITEP program in response to the additional power that was needed as Apache and Blackhawk helicopters were being called on to perform at higher and hotter conditions than they were designed for.

Inspired by four decades of U.S. Army rotorcraft experience, GE responded to that need by designing the new T901 engine, which will power Apache and Blackhawk helicopters, according to the GE Aviation website.

“We appreciate Congressman Moulton’s support for this critical Army aviation program,” said GE spokesman Richard Gorham.

By:  Gayla Cawley
Source: Lynn Daily Item