LES  REACTEURS  RB 199  ET  EJ  200

 

 

Philip Wilkins

Director of Business Development

Rolls Royce Military Engines

 

            Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen.

 

            Could I start by providing the wishes or the best wishes of John Ferry, the Managing Director of the military business in Rolls-Royce.  He had hoped to be here this afternoon but business pressures had made that impossible.

 

            Over the last 50 years, combat engines have benefited from some of the best technology available.  Today these engines continue to lead demonstrating new designs, materials and processes.

 

            Rolls-Royce has been involved in the design and manufacture of military aircraft powerplants since 1915 and has been responsible for many innovations.

 

            Today I would like to talk with you about two of our most important programs of recent times, and those of course are the RB199 and the EJ200.

 

            Let me take you back to 1969.  Several European nations had recognized the need for a flexible multi-role aircraft to replace forces of dedicated strike air defense and reconnaissance equipments.  By March of that year, a set of joint requirements had been shaped and Panavia was formed from the leading aircraft constructors in Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom.

 

            It was clear that no existing powerplant provided the required combination of performance, weight and fuel consumption.  As there always is, there was a competition for the supply of this powerplant and a new engine company won that competition.  Turbo-Union was incorporated in September of 1969 and brought together the skills and experience of Rolls-Royce, MTU in Germany and Fiat in Italy.

 

            The new engine, designated RB199, drew heavily on Rolls-Royce's experience with three-shaft design concepts developed for the RB211 civil family.  The 199 is a 16 to 18,000 pound thrust class augmented military turbofan with an integral afterburner and reverser.  The engine was designed for low weight, small frontal area and length, high reliability, low maintenance and high performance at low altitude.

 

            In addition to the 211 experience, the RB199 program utilized fan technology developed for the vectored-thrust Pegasus.

 

            At the time of Turbo-Union's formation, cooperation between aero-engine companies had become a well-established principle, and we have heard a lot about that this morning.

 

            But collaboration was to go an important stage further with the 199.  The engine comprises 15 modules, each of which became the responsibility of one of the partners in the design and manufacture of the development phase.  Each partner company contributed to the definition of the engine and the management of the overall program.  The challenge was enormous, but it was matched by the international team whose combined motivation and talent succeeded in harnessing many new techniques.  In a short time, the first engine was running, in September 1971, and by April 1974 we achieved flight clearance for Tornado and in August of that year, the Tornado flew for the first time.

 

            The engine was designed and developed to power three Tornado variants - the IDS or interdiction strike aircraft, the air defense variant and the electronic countermeasures and reconnaissance Tornado.

 

            Production engines entered service in 1980 and the first operational Tornado IDS squadrons were formed in 1982.  By 1983, more than 100 aircraft were in service and the improved Mark 103 engine was being introduced.

 

            By 1988, more than 800 Tornados had been delivered to the Royal Air Force, the German Air Force and Navy, the Italian Air Force and the Royal Saudi Air Force in the Middle East.

 

            In that year, the total flying time passed 1 million hours, and in September the 2,000th engine was delivered.

 

            1988 also saw the introduction of the Mach 105, derived from the 103 to provide additional power for the new electronic reconnaissance variant of the Tornado in Germany.

 

            And all of us will remember that 1991 began dramatically.  RB199-powered Tornados were flying in combat for the first time.  ADV and IDS aircraft were used extensively by the Royal Air Force, the Italian Air Force and the Royal Saudi Air Force during the Gulf War.  They flew thousands of sorties.  The IDS variant in particular demonstrated itself to be one of the world's premier attack aircraft.

 

            Reliability of the RB199 during this demanding operation conducted in the harshest of desert conditions, remained extremely high.  There were no engine-related mission aborts during the entire operation.

 

            Today, 2,400 RB199 engines have been delivered and production continues for aircraft ordered by the Royal Saudi Air Force.

 

            Across the fleet, service operation has amounted to more than 3 million flying hours.

            Now, early in the Eurofighter program, a decision was made to power initial prototypes of the new aircraft with a proven engine.  Once again a competition was run and the RB199 won it.  The first two RB199 Mark 104E engines were developed to Eurofighter in September 1991, and those engines successfully powered the first two prototype and development aircraft, successfully completing the initial test flight program with no engine problems.

 

            Now the RB199, in spite of the changes in the political scene in Europe since its conception, will continue to provide Europe with a cost-effective defense system.  Airframes are undergoing mid-life updates and Turbo-Union and its three partner companies continue to contribute to product improvement.  The Tornado weapon system will continue to operate effectively well into the next century.

 

            And that brings me to the Eurofighter program and the EJ200, which of course grew from the great success the Tornado had been.

 

            In the early '80s, the air staffs of Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom formed a common set of requirements for a new fighter aircraft.  These requirements were endorsed by the four participating nations in December 1985. EFA was to be a high performance combat airplane optimized for air superiority.  That meant that a powerplant needed to be very high performance for a number of missions and maneuvers, operate with a very low life-cycle cost, experience excellent service reliability and maintainability and have growth potential.

 

            The development program began in 1988 with the signing of the main contracts between NEFMA, the government's management agency, and Eurojet.

 

            Now during the last 20 years, customer priorities and expectations have changed significantly, with affordability now embracing development, production and the operational phases of programs.  All these aspects carry equal priority alongside engine performance, when designing and developing a modern combat engine.

 

            Eurojet, the company I just mentioned, was formed in 1986 by Fiat, ITP from Spain, MTU and Rolls-Royce.  Its job was to manage and coordinate the design, development and manufacture of this new engine.

 

            On the RB199 program, designated modules were the responsibility of individual partners.  Collaboration on the EJ200 takes that one step further.  This principle of assigning full responsibility is retained, but in addition the concept of participation within modules has been introduced.  And this ensures that the best use is made of the technologies available in the partner companies.

 

            The requirements of the four nations resulted in a twin-engine airplane.  It needed an engine in the 20,000 pounds reheated thrust class, with very high thrust to weight, thrust to volume and thrust to mass flow ratios for excellent combat performance and operational range.  It needed long-life components.  It needed reserves in mass flow and temperature for increasing power requirements and it needed to be very reliable and maintainable in service.  The EJ200 has been designed to meet these requirements.

 

            The development program is structured in four phases.  The first of these was technology acquisition and definition.  It aimed to lower the risk within the design and development of the engine.  The technology required for the major components drew on extensive testing which had taken place in advance of the program launch.  It exploited in-depth advanced engineering which had been carried out over a 5-year period before the launch of the project.

 

            The second phase was design and verification.  And the objectives of this were to confirm the engine performance, assure that the oil, air and fuel systems performed, and assure that mechanical integrity and the engine dynamics worked OK.

 

            Engine runs commenced in Munich at MTU in November 1988.  And engine performance exceeded expectations in both sea level testing and simulated altitude conditions.  And satisfactory mechanical behavior was conclusively proven during accelerated simulated mission endurance testing. This phase of the program was completed in 1990.

 

            We then moved on to full-scale development.  And the objectives were to achieve flight release and demonstrate full compliance with the engine's specification.  The first engine ran in October 1990 and performance goals were being achieved up to 15 months ahead of schedule.  And since that time, more than 5,000 hours of bench running have been achieved, with a very high proportion of that in altitude facilities.

 

            Achievement against contractually required milestones continues to surpass targets with excellent margins.

 

            The final phase is the flight evaluation and full certification.  The Eurofighter program will involve extensive engine flight testing, with 28 engines supporting seven aircraft.  Engine flight clearance for the program was achieved in December 1994.  Six flight engines have so far been delivered.  Ground running commenced in July of last year and I am extremely pleased to say that the first EJ200-EFA flight occurred last Sunday.

 

            Certification of the program is on target.

 

            The Eurofighter 2000 is expected to enter service in the year 2000, and the total program to support the requirements of the partner nations will exceed 1,500 units.  With export opportunities already emerging, the program will continue to deliver for the partner companies through the next century.  Consequently the EJ200 program represents a key element of Rolls-Royce's business through the remaining development, engine production and in-service phases.

 

            As for all of us here, there are great technological, economic and competitive advantages for being in the combat engine market.  And every one of the world's important aero-engine manufacturers will stick with that market.  As a company, Rolls-Royce has been and continues to be committed to it.

 

            Looking forward, we are already working with European and North American partners to develop the future leading edge technologies required to service customer needs.  As a company, we intend to remain competitive in this important sector of the military marketplace.

 

 

            Thank you very much for your attention.

 

 

 

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