The F135 engine which powers the fifth generation F-35 Lighting II aircraft, will receive an upgrade that will provide increased power and thermal management system (PTMS) capacity. The Growth Option 2.0 upgraded proposed by Pratt & Whitney (P&W) can be configured based on customer requirements to offer a range of PTMS improvements, an area which is emerging as a critical enabling capability for future block upgrades to the F-35 aircraft.
“As the F-35 program moves forward with the Continuous Capability Development and Delivery (C2D2) strategy, we strive to stay in front of propulsion advances needed to enable F-35 modernization,” said Matthew Bromberg, president, Pratt & Whitney Military Engines. “We’re continuously assessing customer needs and responding with technology insertion options to keep them ahead of evolving threats.”
Growth Option 2.0 will maintain the same fuel burn (5-6 per cent) and thrust improvements (6-10 per cent) across the F-35 flight envelope and offer the same suite of compressor and turbine technologies offered in the previously announced Growth Option 1.0 upgrade. The key difference between Growth Option 1.0 and Growth Option 2.0 are that the former will bring scaled advances in PTMS capacity.
Growth Option 2.0 can provide a significant improvement in PTMS capacity in the near-term by utilizing several low-risk technologies ready for Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) today.
“Our spiral approach allows Pratt & Whitney to offer rapid, iterative upgrades such as Growth Option 1.0 and Growth Option 2.0 that put next generation propulsion technologies into the hands of the warfighter as fast as possible,” added Bromberg. “These upgrades are aligned with the F-35 C2D2 strategy and provide a range of options to meet future weapons system requirements for the F135 engine.”
Increases in PTMS capacity can enable the F-35 to utilize an enhanced spectrum of offensive and defensive weapon system technologies. Pratt & Whitney is also maturing additional technologies that are projected to provide even greater PTMS capability.