The GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team has successfully accomplished the Phase III Critical Design Review (CDR) of its F136 propulsion systems for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), clearing the way for the first full engine tests in July 2004.
In their respective reports, both the JSF Joint Program Office (JPO) and prime contractor Lockheed Martin acknowledged that the F136 team had hit a ‘home run’.
‘The exceptional rigor applied by the GE/RR team in maintaining a ‘product-like’ focus for this Pre-Systems Development and Demonstration (SDD) design has thoroughly addressed the program’s risk reduction objectives and well-positions the F136 for entering SDD,’ said JSF Technical Director and CDR Chairman, Fred Schwartz.
‘Successful completion of the CDR has validated our expected performance goals against the aircraft system, and verified that we are on track for weight and cost requirements, ‘ said Bob Griswold, general manager for the JSF program at GE Aircraft Engines.
The CDR milestone involved an independent audit of the Fighter Engine Team’s design progress and was undertaken by a team of specialists appointed by the JPO.
Current development work is under the four-year Phase III JSF program. This pre-System and Development Demonstration (SDD) phase, performed under a $453 million contract, runs through 2005. With the CDR successfully completed, contract award for the SDD phase is due in 2005.
The GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team comprises GE Aircraft Engines in Cincinnati, Ohio and Rolls-Royce in Bristol, UK and Indianapolis, Indiana.
GE Aircraft Engines, with responsibility for 60 percent of the program, is developing the core-compressor and turbine system components, and the augmentor. Rolls-Royce, with 40 percent of the program, is responsible for the front fan, combustor, Stage 2 & 3 of the Low Pressure Turbine, and gearboxes.
GE and Rolls-Royce are jointly developing an integrated high-pressure/low-pressure counter-rotating turbine design. Philips Aerospace in the Netherlands will provide compressor and fan components, and Avio in Italy is responsible for structural components for the low-pressure turbine and will participate in the development of the accessory gearbox.