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GE Rolls-Royce Joint Strike Fighter Engine Variants Complete Testing

May 09, 2005

Evendale, Ohio -- The GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team's (FET) F136 program is marching towards its System Design and Demonstration (SDD) contract by completing all performance, operability and aeromechanical testing of its Conventional Take-off and Landing (CTOL) and Short Take-Off Vertical Landing (STOVL) engine variants.

"Both engines are being delivered ahead of schedule and with all F-35 Program Office test requirements completed on time," said Bob Griswold, of GE Transportation and president of the FET. "We couldn't be happier with the performance of our CTOL and STOVL engines. This is a key milestone toward completing our Phase III, pre-SDD contract."

The Fighter Engine Team anticipates the award of a seven-year, Phase IV SDD contract for its F136 engine program in August.

Tom Hartmann of Rolls-Royce North America, and vice president of the FET said, "Our CTOL and STOVL engines and our team performed exceptionally well and met all performance parameters set by our customer."

Testing on the CTOL engine included performance assessment, risk reduction fan stalls, and achieved Intermediate Rated Power (MILPOWER) while demonstrating smooth starts, throttle transients, stall free operation, and low vibration levels, plus it included a run to 105% maximum design speed. The STOVL engine experienced successful engagement of the Rolls-Royce LiftFan, roll-post aeromechanics testing, as well as hover capability by vectoring the 3-Bearing Swivel Duct (3BSD) at both low and high power. The engines accumulated more than 190 hours of testing.

Since the F136 will be fully and physically interchangeable to power the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), the two engines represent a single engine configuration for all three versions of the aircraft: STOVL for the U.S. Marine Corps and U.K. Royal Navy, CTOL for the U.S. Air Force, and the Carrier Variant (CV) for the U.S. Navy.

With the infusion of best practices and improved technology, the F136 is expected to exceed requirements for maintainability, affordability, and reliability for all JSF variants, while enhancing the ability of the U.S. services and international partners to cooperate in joint coalition operations.

Based on the current schedule, SDD development testing commences in 2006 and culminates with delivery of the first F136-powered F-35s in 2012.

Editor's notes:
GE Transportation - Aircraft Engines, with responsibility for 60 percent of the F136 program, is developing the core compressor and coupled high-pressure/low-pressure turbine system components, controls and accessories, and the augmentor. Rolls-Royce, with 40 percent of the F136 program, is responsible for the front fan, combustor, stages 2 and 3 of the low-pressure turbine, and gearboxes. International partner countries are also contributing to the F136 through involvement in engine development and component manufacturing.

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