DSEI 2021 – New British military jet developer AERALIS has announced an agreement with Rolls-Royce to meet the company’s propulsion requirements.
Announced this week at DSEI, the agreement has been put in place to provide unmatched access to established UK aerospace resources, as well as a fully integrated digital enterprise.
“As pioneers of power, Rolls-Royce’s mission is to innovate efficient and sustainable power solutions to meet customers’ operational requirements and to protect our planet, secure our world and explore the universe. Rolls-Royce Defence family of digital small propulsion system are being developed rapidly to deliver disruptive and innovative technologies whilst also being more cost effective. AERALIS are keen to take advantage of these advances in propulsion system design for their digitally developed modular air system.
The agreement activity will focus initially on using Rolls-Royce’s propulsion systems powering the pre-production aircraft, and the ability to integrate them digitally in the aircraft design process.”
Given the AERALIS aircraft can be reconfigured with different single and twin-engine modules, the agreement will also go on to explore how Rolls-Royce’s future propulsion system technology can be utilised across multiple AERALIS variant aircraft to meet different operational requirements, exploiting full digital engineering integration from trade studies to in-service operation.
“I’m delighted to see AERALIS and Rolls Royce partnering to develop advanced digital design methodologies and investigate future power systems options for the AERALIS modular aircraft design,” said Air Commodore Jez Holmes, Head of the RAF’s Rapid Capabilities Office.
“This digital engineering and digital twinning approach could deliver considerable savings relative to traditional air system design, development and sustainment, and offer the opportunity for rapid capability adaption. As such, the learning achieved could be broadly applicable across a broad range of acquisition programmes including FCAS.”
Tristan Crawford, CEO of AERALIS said:
“We are delighted to announce our collaboration with such highly capable and respected partner in the industry. The fully integrated digital infrastructure that we will build alongside our aircraft is the first of its kind and we could not think of a better partner to be doing it with. We are excited to be developing this unique and innovative aircraft with such distinguished industry leaders.”
Alex Zino, Executive Vice President Business Development and Future Programmes at Rolls-Royce commented:
“We are looking forward to progressing this innovative programme with AERALIS to help them meet their power and propulsion needs. Innovation is at the heart of all we do at Rolls-Royce and we are committed to developing disruptive and cutting-edge technologies that will help advance this programme.”
Earlier in the year, I reported that Aeralis had agreed a three-year contract with the Royal Air Force’s Rapid Capabilities Office (RCO) for research and development into a new modular approach to the design and development of future aircraft.
“The RCO will support the requirements and design review process to gain an understanding of how AERALIS defines the ways in which agile, modular, commercially-driven aircraft design can develop and certify a broad range of future aircraft systems that could support the RAF’s ambition to rationalise its future fleet.”
Aeralis is a UK-based aircraft developer specialising in creating a new class of “transformative military aircraft”. The firm say on their website:
“The new aircraft will be based on a modular system, enabling the company to deliver a range of configurations for different missions by using common fuselage and avionics while switching engines, wings and mission systems. The company has completed phase one and phase two development, with feasibility studies complete and its core team established in preparation to develop a pre-production aircraft with first flight targeted within 3 years. The AERALIS modular aircraft system streamlines the design, development and in-service support processes for military aircraft across multiple training and front-line roles, helping to reduce the complexity and costs of acquisition and sustainment when compared with more traditional approaches.”
“AERALIS is focused on re-inventing how future military aircraft are developed and operated, and we’re delighted to help set the pace and vision for future RAF systems with the Rapid Capabilities Office”, said Tristan Crawford, AERALIS Chief Executive Officer.
“As well as helping to enable rapid, digitally-driven development and the certification of flexible, open-architecture aircraft systems, this supports UK prosperity and the Government goal to champion British innovation. We are creating a significant export and global relationship development opportunity for the UK.”