November 5, 2014
Rolls-Royce Snecma Ltd. signs contract with UK Ministry of Defence to launch feasibility phase for future combat aircraft
Rolls-Royce Snecma Ltd., a 50/50 joint venture between Rolls-Royce and Snecma (Safran), has signed a new contract with the UK Ministry of Defence, in collaboration with the Armaments Procurement Agency of the French Ministry of Defence, to continue design studies for the Future Combat Air System (FCAS). This future combat aircraft, which could bring new levels of capability to the air forces of the future, could enter service towards 2030. Following the Demonstration Programme Preparation Phase, this contract marks the start of a two-year Feasibility Phase, designed to study the operational parameters for the future combat aircraft. Rolls-Royce Snecma Ltd. is undertaking in-depth studies to evaluate the aircraft’s propulsion system, in line with the joint operational requirements of France and the UK. The French and UK governments have allocated £120 million for this new phase to the companies involved in the FCAS project: Dassault Aviation, BAE Systems, Thales, Selex ES, and Rolls-Royce Snecma Ltd. Since the start of initial studies in September 2012, Snecma and Rolls-Royce have successfully combined their respective areas of technological expertise, and agreed on a workshare split that will meet the ambitious technical requirements of the future propulsion system. Until now, studies have focused on the development of new technologies and the assessment of new system architectures. The feasibility phase will enable Rolls-Royce Snecma Ltd. to explore innovative propulsion system concepts in greater depth. Philippe Loty was named General Manager and Programme Executive of Rolls-Royce Snecma Ltd. in October 2014 to ensure overall coordination of the two engine-makers’ activities.