GE/Allison/Rolls-Royce Team Developing YF120 Fighter Engine for JSF Aircraft Candidates
FARNBOROUGH - The U.S. Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Office has selected the GE YF120 engine for the JSF Alternate Engine Program, clearing the way for a historic fighter engine collaboration between GE Aircraft Engines, Allison Advanced Development Company, and Rolls-Royce.
In March of this year, Rolls-Royce (parent company of Allison) joined the GE/Allison team to develop and produce the YF120 cruise engine as an alternate engine for all JSF aircraft under consideration, and the GEA-FXL engine, the lift engine for the Lift+Lift Cruise variant of the STOVL version for JSF.
After evaluating GE F110 derivatives and the YF120 as the cruise engine candidates for the Alternate Engine Program, the JSF program office selected the YF120 engine for its core thrust capability to meet the multi-service (U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marines, U.K. Royal Navy) aircraft requirements and for its potential growth. The Alternate Engine Program will enable the JSF program to reap the cost benefits of competition and increased operational flexibility.
Under the GE/Allison/Rolls-Royce teaming agreement, GE will initially act as the lead systems integrator for the engine development work. The agreement, however, provides the opportunity for the three companies to form a succeeding business agreement within the next few years. The teaming arrangement builds upon the technology strengths of the three companies.
The YF120's base core was developed and successfully demonstrated in flight in the late 1980s by GE for the USAF's Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF) engine competition. Allison will provide components and technology for the engine core and low pressure turbine; Rolls-Royce will design and manufacture the fan module.
The technical characteristics of the YF120 derivative for the JSF include:
- An increased airflow, three-stage, long-chord blisk fan
- Five-stage blisk compressor
- Dual dome combustor
- Single-stage high pressure turbine
- Two-stage low pressure turbine
- Radial augmentor and dual control system derived from GE's F414 engine
- Advanced nozzle
The three-company team is actively involved in defining the requirements for the GEA-FXL, the lift engine for the JSF. The engine core will be based on a demonstrator engine developed by GE and Allison. Rolls-Royce will design and manufacture the low pressure turbine.
GE Aircraft Engines is based in Evendale, Ohio (USA); Allison, in Indianapolis, Indiana (USA); and Rolls-Royce Military Aero Engines Ltd., in Bristol, England.