Released on Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Dutch Partners deliver components to GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team
Farnborough, UK - 16 July 2008 - The GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team has received the first deliveries of key work packages from Dutch companies, part of the Netherlands' industrial participation in the F136 engine to power the Joint Strike Fighter aircraft.
The deliveries of the engine components highlight some of the first of more than $1 Billion in work for Dutch business over the lifetime of the F136 engine programme.
The F136 engine is the most advanced fighter aircraft engine ever developed and will be available to power all variants of the F-35 Lightning II aircraft for the US military and eight partner nations.
Industrial partners DutchAero and Atkins Nedtech engineering have made important contributions in the design and manufacture of components, including the 1.4-metre diameter fan case near the front of the engine. Atkins Nedtech assisted in the design of the fan case while DutchAero manufactured it. The component is known within the F136 programme as the "Dutch fan case", due to the work of the industrial partners in the Netherlands.
Additionally, DutchAero has manufactured and delivered the first set of bladed disks (or "blisks") for the F136 engine and other significant component work is in final stages with delivery to the Fighter Engine Team expected in upcoming weeks.
The new components will go into the first production-configured F136 engine which will be delivered later this year as part of the Fighter Engine Team's System Development and Demonstration (SDD) contract with the US Government.
DutchAero, located in Eindhoven, and the Fighter Engine Team have been partners on the programme for 10 years, as GE and Rolls-Royce recognised the capabilities of the Dutch manufacturer and the added value it brought to the F136 programme. DutchAero also manufactured the fan case and 1.5-metre diameter blisks for prototype F136 engines.
The engineering expertise of Atkins Nedtech, located in Hoofddorp, was recognised early in the programme as well. Nedtech's engineers have assisted in the engine design for many years and the company maintains engineering staff on the programme at a Rolls-Royce facility in the United Kingdom. In addition to the fan case, Atkins Nedtech designed and analysed the front bearing housing for the F136 engine.
Both DutchAero and Atkins Nedtech have benefited from spin-off activities and are carrying out work on other non-JSF programmes as a result of their involvement with the Fighter Engine Team.
Jean Lydon-Rodgers, President of the GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team, praised the contributions made by the Dutch industrial partners.
"DutchAero and Atkins Nedtech have been heavily involved in the design and manufacture of the F136 engine for many years and have delivered once again as we build our first production configuration engine. These highly technical contributions represent the very best of Dutch industry and we are very grateful for their expertise." Clemente Perscarmona, Chief Executive Officer of DutchAero, said, "The F136 for the Joint Strike Fighter is considered the most technologically advanced combat engine programme. Our significant contribution demonstrates the capabilities of DutchAero and also highlights Dutch technology to the rest of the world. The economic benefits will multiply directly as we move forward with the F136 engine programme and also indirectly, as we at DutchAero expect, through other GE and Rolls-Royce programmes."
Wim van Beinum, Managing Director of Atkins Nedtech, said, "Our engineers are really pleased to have worked on the Dutch fan case project, to be involved with a high-profile and technically innovative design. It was a great opportunity to showcase our aero engine expertise."
The Fighter Engine Team will begin testing this first production engine in early 2009. This is the first engine to be delivered under the SDD contract with the US Government. First flight of the F136 engine in an F-35 Lightning II will take place in 2010.
GE - General Electric
JSF - Joint Strike Fighter
SDD - System Development and Demonstration
UK - United Kingdom