Over the last five years Rolls-Royce say it has been pioneering ‘world-first’ technology that will contribute to the UK’s next-generation Tempest fighter jet programme.
In what it describes as “an aim to be more electric, more intelligent and to harness more power”, Rolls-Royce say it has recognised that any future fighter aircraft will have unprecedented levels of electrical power demand and thermal load; all needing to be managed within the context of a stealthy aircraft.
“Before the launch of the Tempest programme, Rolls-Royce had already started to address the demands of the future. Back in 2014, the company took on the challenge of designing an electrical starter generator that was fully embedded in the core of a gas turbine engine, now known as the Embedded Electrical Starter Generator or E2SG demonstrator programme.”
Conrad Banks, Chief Engineer for Future Programmes at Rolls-Royce said:
“The electrical embedded starter-generator will save space and provide the large amount of electrical power required by future fighters. Existing aircraft engines generate power through a gearbox underneath the engine, which drives a generator. In addition to adding moving parts and complexity, the space required outside the engine for the gearbox and generator makes the airframe larger, which is undesirable in a stealthy platform.”
The firm say that phase two of this programme has now been adopted as part of Rolls-Royce’s contribution to the Tempest programme.