Rolls-Royce engines have been selected by Boeing to power the U.S. Navy’s new MQ-25 Stingray aircraft, which will provide unmanned, carrier-based air-to-air refuelling.
The U.S. Navy has awarded the MQ-25A engineering and manufacturing contract to Boeing to provide four aircraft. The MQ-25 is designed to provide the U.S. Navy with a much-needed refuelling capability and extend the range of combat aircraft from carriers.
Each MQ-25 aircraft will be powered by a single Rolls-Royce AE 3007N engine, manufactured in Indianapolis, U.S. The AE 3007N, the latest variant of the Rolls-Royce AE family of engines, will provide more than 10,000 lbs./4,536 kg of thrust and additional electrical power to the aircraft.
Jarrett Jones, Rolls-Royce, Executive Vice President, Customer Business, Government Relations and Sales, said: «Congratulations to Boeing for being selected to develop this historic aircraft in support of the U.S. Navy. For Rolls-Royce, it will expand our Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) expertise with unmanned aircraft in the U.S. Navy fleet, which includes the Triton and Fire Scout aircraft».
The proven Rolls-Royce AE family of engines includes turbofan, turboprop and turboshaft variants, and the total AE engine fleet has accumulated more than 74 million engine flight hours. AE engines power aircraft for the U.S. Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard, and a variety of military and civilian aircraft in service around the world. Rolls-Royce has delivered nearly 7,000 AE engines from the company’s advanced manufacturing facility in Indianapolis.
The AE 3007H turbofan engine powers the U.S. Navy’s Triton and the Air Force Global Hawk, as well as commercial and business aviation aircraft. The AE 2100 turboprop powers the Lockheed Martin C-130J and LM-100J, as well as the C-27J and Saab 2000; and the AE 1107C turboshaft powers the Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey operated by the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force. The MT7, a marinized variant of the AE 1107, will power the U.S. Navy’s Ship-to-Shore Connector hovercraft.
The first U.S. Air Force C-130H Hercules aircraft to be fully equipped with the Rolls-Royce T56 Series 3.5 engine upgrade has completed its first flight, demonstrating significant improvement in fuel efficiency, lower operating temperatures and improved high-altitude performance.
Preliminary flight data showed fuel efficiency improved by approximately 12 percent and turbine temperatures were more than 100 degrees Celsius lower. Reduced turbine temperatures increase parts life and lower operating costs significantly. The C-130H Hercules aircraft flown by the Wyoming Air National Guard (ANG) completed its first flight with four T56 Series 3.5 engines at the 153rd Airlift Wing at Cheyenne, Wyoming, Regional Airport.
Phil Burkholder, Rolls-Royce, President Defense North America, said: «We congratulate the US Air Force and the Wyoming Air National Guard for achieving this significant milestone – first flight of a C-130H aircraft equipped with the Rolls-Royce T56 Series 3.5 engine upgrade. Rolls-Royce developed the upgrade to enhance mission capability – and by achieving fuel efficiency improvements and lower operating temperatures, the Series 3.5 upgrade delivers as promised».
Air National Guard Director Lieutenant General L. Scott Rice lauded the engine improvements in performance and reliability.
General Rice said: «The Series 3.5 engine upgrade certainly increased the performance on time and fuel flow and altitude. So, it’s a great improvement as well for the capability and reliability of the engine from a maintenance standpoint. It was really impressive».
Colonel Kevin Campbell, Air National Guard, Director of Plans and Requirements, said: «We’re confident right now that we’ll see in excess of 12 percent fuel savings and upwards of 25 percent increased time on wing, which will reduce maintenance time. Those are substantial, and would provide a fairly rapid return on investment. This upgrade would pay for itself; the real question is «how fast»? We’re pretty excited about it and think we’re going to hit it at about the five-year mark».
The demonstration aircraft, assigned to the Wyoming Air National Guard, will be used in an operational utility evaluation in order to inform the decision to push the Series 3.5 engines to the rest of the ANG’s C-130H Hercules fleet.
The National Science Foundation/New York State Air National Guard LC-130H «ski bird» fleet will be among the first USAF C-130 aircraft to receive the T56 Series 3.5 engine upgrades in support of Operation Deep Freeze polar operations.
The Series 3.5 technology, which is based on proven advances from other Rolls-Royce engines, can be added during regular overhauls and requires no changes to the aircraft or controls. The 22nd Air Force Central Engine Repair Facility (CERF) at Little Rock Air Force Base completed the Wyoming T56 engine and nacelle build around the Series 3.5-configured engine power sections assembled by Standard Aero San Antonio (SASAI).
The Series 3.5 engine upgrade is already demonstrating success in Hurricane Hunter WP-3D aircraft of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), having completed more than 3,000 engine flight hours of operation and demonstrating fuel savings and other performance benefits similar to that now being seen by the US Air Force.
The Series 3.5 kit is certified and operating in C-130 Hercules and P-3 Orion aircraft. Rolls-Royce operations in Indianapolis have enhanced production capability, and the kit is now available on the global market.
Using improved blades, vanes, and seals in the engine, the Series 3.5 demonstrates significant results:
Fuel economy improved by 9.7 percent.
Reliability improved by 22 percent.
Capability, versatility, availability are all improved for C-130 fleet.
Aircraft range improved by 9.4 percent – or can carry heavier payload.
Easy installation during routine overhaul – no changes to aircraft or controls.
Upgrade costs offset by typical overhaul savings, if done at same time.
Investment return excellent – payback possible within six years.
Rolls-Royce is to supply twelve MTU diesel gensets to prime contractor BAE Systems for the first three Type 26 Global Combat Ships (GCS) due to go into service with the Royal Navy.
The deal means that the core components of the frigate’s combined propulsion system will come from Rolls-Royce: four MTU diesel gensets with 20V 4000 M53B engines, each delivering 3,015 kW of mechanical power, and one Rolls-Royce MT30 gas turbine. The MTU brand is part of Rolls-Royce Power Systems.
«The fact that we’re involved with our diesel gensets in this leading-edge project by the Royal Navy fills us with great pride and demonstrates the precision with which Rolls-Royce is able to meet customer requirements», said Knut Müller, head of MTU’s governmental business. «One key reason for winning this order is MTU’s wealth of experience of combined propulsion systems».
The Type 26 Global Combat Ship is the first newly-designed Royal Navy surface vessel to be equipped with MTU engines. It is also the first time Rolls-Royce has supplied a naval vessel with an MTU propulsion system that meets the requirements of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) III emissions directive. To achieve this, each of the four engines on the vessel will be fitted with an exhaust aftertreatment system, which uses a Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) unit to neutralise nitrogen oxide emissions. Rolls-Royce has carried out extensive testing of this technology, which has already been successfully used in MTU off-highway applications, for use in maritime propulsion systems.
The Type 26 Global Combat Ship is the Royal Navy’s third major project involving MTU engines. Rolls-Royce is supplying Series 4000 diesel gensets for the refit of the Duke-class (Type 23) frigates, while the Astute-class submarines already have MTU diesel gensets.
Within the Combined Diesel-Electric or Gas Turbine (CODELOG) propulsion system for the Type 26 frigates, the MTU diesel gensets will provide electrical power for on-board electronics and for cruising propulsion. The Rolls-Royce gas turbine will be used for propulsion when travelling at high-speeds. The MTU gensets are bedded on specialist mounts and surrounded by an acoustic enclosure, ensuring that the propulsion system operates at low noise levels. A similar propulsion system featuring MTU diesel gensets is used aboard the German F-125 class frigates and French FREMM frigates.
The MTU product range for the government shipping sector comprises engines with power outputs of between 269 and 10,000 kW. As a system supplier, MTU is also able to develop and supply complete propulsion solutions including ship automation systems.
The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Japan for E-2D Advanced Hawkeye Airborne Early Warning and Control Aircraft and associated equipment, parts and logistical support for an estimated cost of $1.7 billion. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on Jun 1, 2015.
The Government of Japan has requested a possible sale of:
four (4) Northrop Grumman E-2D Advanced Hawkeye (AHE) Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) aircraft;
ten (10) Rolls-Royce T56-A-427A engines (8 installed and 2 spares);
eight (8) Multifunction Information Distribution System Low Volume Terminals (MIDS-LVT);
four (4) Lockheed Martin APY-9 Radars;
spare and repair parts;
publications and technical documentation;
personnel training and training equipment;
aerial refueling support;
S. Government and contractor logistics;
engineering and technical support services;
other related elements of logistics and program support.
The estimated cost is $1.7 billion.
This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States. Japan is one of the major political and economic powers in East Asia and the Western Pacific and a key partner of the United States in ensuring peace and stability in that region. It is vital to the U.S. national interest to assist Japan in developing and maintaining a strong and ready self-defense capability. This proposed sale is consistent with U.S. foreign policy and national security objectives and the 1960 Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security.
The proposed sale of E-2D AHE aircraft will improve Japan’s ability to effectively provide homeland defense utilizing an AEW&C capability. Japan will use the E-2D AHE aircraft to provide AEW&C situational awareness of air and naval activity in the Pacific region and to augment its existing E-2C Hawkeye AEW&C fleet. Japan will have no difficulty absorbing these aircraft into its armed forces.
The proposed sale of these aircraft and support will not alter the basic military balance in the Pacific region.
The principal contractor will be Northrop Grumman Corporation Aerospace Systems in Melbourne, Florida. The acquisition and integration of all systems will be managed by the U.S. Navy’s Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR). There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.
E-2D Advanced Hawkeye
The E-2D Advanced Hawkeye is a game changer in how the Navy will conduct battle management command and control. By serving as the «digital quarterback» to sweep ahead of strike, manage the mission, and keep our net-centric carrier battle groups out of harms way, the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye is the key to advancing the mission, no matter what it may be. The E-2D gives the warfighter expanded battlespace awareness, especially in the area of information operations delivering battle management, theater air and missile defense, and multiple sensor fusion capabilities in an airborne system.
Hardware with system characteristics that provides:
Substantial target processing capacity (>3,000 reports per second)
Three highly automated and common operator stations
High-capacity, flat-panel color high-resolution displays
Extensive video type selection (radar and identification friend/foe)
HF/VHF/UHF and satellite communications systems
Extensive data link capabilities
Inertial navigational system and global positioning system navigation and in-flight alignment