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US military seeking replacement V-22 engines

The US military has put out a call for drop-in replacement engines to power all variants of its Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft.

A request for information (RFI) released on 26 August seeks information from industry “on alternative power plant solutions capable of powering all MV/CV-22 (all models) Osprey as well as any foreign military sales aircraft in a safe, reliable, cost-effective and sustainable manner which demonstrate a best value to the government.”

Navy Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) is leading the effort to identify potential replacements for the Rolls-Royce AE-1107C engines that power all V-22s operated by the Marine Corps and US Air Force, according to the solicitation. The solicitation does not specifically mention the Rolls-Royce engine.

“The information should address both the feasibility for production incorporation and retrofit of all fielded V-22 aircraft,” the document says. “The power plant should be capable of integrating into the MV-22B, MV-22C, and CV-22C models with minimal impact to aircraft operation and physical systems.”

The RFI calls for information on engines with a power rating of no less than 6,100shp (4,548.78kw) at 15,000rpm. It should operate at up to 25,000ft at up to 54.44°C (130°F) and fit into the existing nacelles on either the right or left V-22 wing “with minimal structural or external modification.”

“Options for modification of current inlet and exhaust conditioning systems will be considered,” the RFI says. “All development concepts should outline an approach that ensures maximum utilisation of existing infrastructure and platform integration elements that already exist for previously fielded systems.”

Rolls-Royce in February was awarded a $90.1 million contract by the Marine Corps to build engines for 22 V-22s. The deal, which was a modification to an existing contract, called for 40 AE 1107C engines, which are built in Indianapolis, Indiana, the company says.

The company already has enhanced the power output of the AE 1107C engine by 17% under the MissionCare support contract with the Marine Corps and Air Force. In April, it received an additional $39 million contract under MissionCare to maintain and repair those engines in Indianapolis, Oakland, California, and various military installations.

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