Rolls-Royce has been awarded a contract to develop hypersonic propulsion systems for increased aircraft performance and capability.
The MOD’s procurement arm, Defence Equipment and Support, intends to place a circa 2-year, single sourced contract, of approximate value £10M, for a UK programme to undertake design studies, research, development, analysis and experimentation relating to high-Mach advanced propulsion systems. The contract will be with Rolls-Royce Plc, (RR) and its technology partners, BAE Systems and Reaction Engines and will focus on enabling technologies for increased aircraft performance and capability.
Speaking at the 2019 Air and Space Power Conference, the UK’s Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier, said: “As part of the technologies being developed in parallel with Project Tempest, I am delighted to reveal that in concert with Rolls-Royce, Reaction Engines and BAE Systems, we are developing hypersonic propulsion systems, which will be designed and tested over the next 2 years, paving the way for the UK to become a centre of excellence in this technology and contribute to meeting future UK Defence needs.”
Alex Zino, Director Business Development and Future Programmes said: “Rolls-Royce will work closely with the UK MOD and our partners BAE Systems and Reaction Engines to conduct and coordinate research into high Mach advanced propulsion systems.
“Going forward, this collaboration will allow us to focus on enabling innovative technologies for increased aircraft performance and capability.”
A joint industry statement by Rolls-Royce, Reaction Engines and BAE Systems welcomed the initiative:
“By bringing together acknowledged aerospace innovation capability from British companies, Rolls-Royce, Reaction Engines and BAE Systems, critical high Mach propulsion technology elements will be developed over the next 2 years, paving the way for a UK centre of excellence in this technology and contributing to meeting UK MOD future defence needs.
“This work highlights the importance of collaboration with our partners and will allow us to focus on developing innovative technologies for increased aircraft performance and capability.”