GENERAL ELECTRIC has submitted revised formal proposals to British Aerospace to power its Nimrod 2000 contender for the Royal Air Force replacement maritime-patrol aircraft requirement.

GE is offering the CF34-8N, a version of the 58kN (13,000lb)-thrust CF34-8C turbofan under development for the Bombardier Canadair CRJ-X stretched Regional Jet.

GE is emphasising the UK content of its bid, which is in competition with the BMW Rolls-Royce BR710 to power the upgraded Nimrod 2000.

Testing of the fan for the -8C growth CF34 is to begin at European Gas Turbine in the UK on 22 April, and includes medium and large bird strike and blade-out tests.

Shorts in the UK will manufacture the jet-pipe, cowlings and installation fittings and will be responsible for engine build-up of both variants.

Maintenance support for Nimrod engines would be provided by GE's overhaul centre in Wales. BAe's engine choice is imminent.

GE says that it is "fully committed" to a first test of the Nimrod-specific CF34 in mid-1998. First flight of the -8C engine, is scheduled some 18 months ahead of the first Nimrod 2000 flight, and certification of the commercial variant, is planned for the second quarter of 1999 - "well synchronised" to meet the Nimrod 2000 flight-test schedule and the RAF requirement for first deliveries in 2001, GE says.

Testing of the -8C's four-stage, low-pressure compressor is to begin in the second quarter of 1996, with testing of the ten-stage, high-pressure compressor, derived from that of GE's F414 fighter engine, also planned for this year. Scale-model exhaust-nozzle testing was completed in March.

Source: Flight International