Australia’s Broens Aerospace was recently awarded a Purchase Order (PO) by GE to design and build three tooling mandrels required to manufacture the engine bypass duct during the System Development and Demonstration Phase (SDD) of the F136 engine program. The PO has the potential for follow-on POs in the production phase of the F136 program.
Two of the mandrels will be used to facilitate inspection of the bypass duct; the third tool will be used as a fixture in manufacturing.
Awarded a $2.4 billion System Development and Demonstration (SDD) contract in August 2005, the F136 Fighter Engine Team SDD phase includes the production and qualification of 14 engines, seven of which are for ground-tests, and six plus one spare for flight-tests. The first F136 engine is expected to test in mid-2008, but risk-reduction tests are ongoing, using one of the Fighter Engine Team’s original pre-SDD development engines.
The F136 engine is expected to flight-test on the F-35 in 2010, with engine selections being available that year. Production engines will be available in 2012.
The F-35 is a next-generation, multi-role stealth aircraft designed to replace the AV-8B Harrier, A-10, F-16, F/A-18 Hornet and the United Kingdom’s Harrier GR.7 and Sea Harrier, all of which are currently powered by GE or Rolls-Royce.