Rolls-Royce has signed a jointly funded research and technology contract with the UK ministry of defense. Known as Engine Technologies for Aircraft Persistence and Survivability (ENTAPS), the three-year program will investigate key propulsion technologies for future combat aircraft, with an accent on low radar signature, high endurance and low specific fuel consumption ENTAPS can be seen as part of the UK’s wider Deep Persistent Offensive Capability effort that also covers programs such as BAE Systems’ Taranis stealthy UCAV technology demonstrator.
For a while there has been some concern that the development of propulsion technologies in the UCAV arena was lagging behind that of autonomous systems and low-observability techniques. ENTAPS addresses that issue.
Rolls-Royce research will look at areas such as distortion-tolerant fans, and high-temperature combustion and turbine systems. The work will advance the highest risk areas to the technical readiness level necessary for Initial Gate. Studies will also be conducted as to how these new technologies can be integrated into a working engine.