GE was awarded a $437 million contract modification from the U.S. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC) at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base for the execution of next generation adaptive propulsion risk reduction for potential air superiority applications.
GE's Adaptive Cycle Engine is a variable cycle engine that will automatically alternate between a high-thrust mode for maximum power and a high-efficiency mode for optimum fuel savings.
"GE is excited to continue the maturation of adaptive cycle engines; it will enable revolutionary combat capability of future platforms," said Dan McCormick, general manager of GE's Advanced Combat Engine Program. "Three-stream adaptive cycle engines bring a generational change to what propulsion can provide as compared to legacy engines or potential upgrades to legacy engines. It will be a game changer in combat capability with unmatched improvements in range, thrust, and heat dissipation capacity, critical to future mission requirements, while enabling upgrades in avionics and weapons."
GE, along with the U.S. Air Force, has matured the enabling technologies and architectures of adaptive cycle engines through a series of highly-successful design and test activities in the Adaptive Versatile Engine Technology (ADVENT), Adaptive Engine Technology Development (AETD), and Adaptive Engine Transition Program (AETP) efforts. Between 2007 and 2017, GE successfully designed and tested multiple three-stream adaptive fan configurations, an advanced compressor rig, two full-scale core engines, and a full three-stream adaptive cycle technology demonstrator engine. GE's understanding of adaptive cycle engines is based on this solid foundation of testing.
"Engine, component, and core test data has validated the revolutionary capability afforded by this class of technologies and adaptive architectures. Our adaptive cycle engine design and test learnings over the past decade will be leveraged in this recent contract award," Dan McCormick said. "We are proud and excited to be part of the U.S. Air Force team moving this new class of advanced propulsion forward towards eventual production and fielding."