International Aero Engines has unveiled a new version of its popular V2500 turbofan, designated the SelectTwo, as its partners backed a new long-term commitment to the joint venture.

With service entry due in 2013, the SelectTwo engine is expected to trim fuel burn costs by 0.58% for an Airbus A320 on a 500nm (930km) sector.

That translates to roughly $4.3 million savings over a 10-year period, says IAE, for a 10-aircraft fleet of A320s completing 2,300 flights a year.

Although promising smaller fuel burn cuts than next-generation engines in development by IAE members Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce, IAE chief Ian Aitken says the SelectTwo shows the venture is "committed to providing substantial support and continued investment" in the V2500.

SelectTwo is a less ambitious offering: the core and low-pressure spool of the two-shaft V2500 is left untouched by the upgrade. It comprises a software upgrade for the electronic engine control and a new data entry plug.

IAE launched a performance improvement package, SelectOne, for the V2500 in 2005, with IndiGo Airlines. The package included an aftermarket agreement. IAE is offering the SelectTwo package as a sales order option on V2500-A5 SelectOne engines, but has not disclosed any launch customer.

Shareholders in IAE have agreed to extend their partnerships to 2045 despite philosophical differences on the design of future engines that put the consortium's future in doubt.

Uncertainty had grown as P&W marketed its PW1000G geared turbofan for the re-engined Airbus A320neo, Bombardier CSeries, Mitsubishi MRJ regional jet and United Aircraft MS-21.

Airbus selected the geared turbofan to power the A320neo after Pratt & Whitney failed to persuade Rolls-Royce to offer the engine jointly through IAE, which also includes Japanese Aero Engines and MTU Aero Engines.

Rolls-Royce opted instead to bypass the near-term re-engining option to focus on new, more efficient core technology for next-generation narrowbody types.

IAE has around 6,500 engines in service or on order, and Aitken says: "Our substantial investment and ability to develop and apply our technology will contribute to our success as we produce these engines for many years to come."

Source: Flight International