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C4iSR: Air

Safran, MTU agree framework for future fighter engine

03 December 2019
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Safran and MTU have agreed details on the development of a next-generation aircraft engine to power the New Generation Fighter (NGF) for France, Germany and Spain.

A model of the Next European Fighter Engine / New European Engine being developed by Safran and MTU for the FCAS / SCAF New Generation Fighter displayed at the Paris Air Show 2019. (Jane's/Gareth Jennings)A model of the Next European Fighter Engine / New European Engine being developed by Safran and MTU for the FCAS / SCAF New Generation Fighter displayed at the Paris Air Show 2019. (Jane's/Gareth Jennings)

The agreement, announced on 3 December, sees Safran Aircraft Engines of France and MTU Aero Engines of Germany settle the details of the engine development programme for the NGF component of the wider Future Combat Air System (FCAS)/ Système de Combat Aérien Futur (SCAF). This builds on the letter of intent (LOI) signed between the two companies in February 2019, which specified that Safran would take the lead in engine design and integration, with MTU leading engine services.

“In the framework of the contractual scheme defined by France and Germany, Safran Aircraft Engines will be the prime contractor and MTU Aero Engines the main partner for the first phase of Research and Technology (Phase 1A),” the companies said, adding that the two partners had also agreed on the foundation of a 50/50 joint venture that will be incorporated by the end of 2021 to manage the development, production, and the after-sales support activities of the new engine to power the NGF.

Known as both the Next European Fighter Engine (NEFE) and the New European Engine (NEE), the NGF powerplant is one of a number of core FCAS/SCAF elements to be covered in the first demonstration phase that is set to be launched in January 2020. The NEFE/NEE powerplant is included in the NGF itself, with the two other core elements comprising the Remote Carrier (RC) loyal wingmen and the Air Combat Cloud (ACC). This first phase should see an NGF demonstrator flying in concert with an RC (the combination of which is known as the Next-Generation Weapon System [NGWS]) while networked together in the ACC by the end of 2026.

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