USAF moves to new phase of engine tech development

Washington DC
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This story is sourced from Flight International
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The US Air Force has started work on a follow-on effort to further develop next-generation turbine engine technology called the adaptive engine technology development, a senior service official tells Congress.

"It is a follow-on programme to the ADVENT (Adaptive Versatile Engine Technology) programme which is looking at the next generation of turbine engine technology," says Lt Gen Janet Wolfenbarger, military deputy to the USAF acquisitions chief. "It is intended to be a competitive acquisition."

The tender to work on the project will be open to all bidders, she says. The aim is to reduce specific fuel consumption by 25%, but it will also help preserve the US industrial base.

"It is pure technology maturation," Wolfenbarger cautions. "It is not the start of an EMD [engineering manufacture development] programme."

The idea is to advance the technology to a point where it could be used on a next-generation fighter or bomber platform in the future-should such a programme materialize in the future. Wolfenbarger flatly says that it not an effort to create an alternative engine for future developments of the Lockheed Martin F-35.

Propulsion is the key to developing a next-generation tactical aircraft since it takes longer to develop an engine than it does an airframe, said Rear Admiral Willam Moran, the US Navy's director of air warfare during a speech last month about the USN nascent F/A-XX effort.

The current ADVENT endeavor is being conducted by two separate companies- Rolls Royce and General Electric.