At the 2023 edition of the Paris Air Show MTU Aero Engines added details to the design of the Next European Fighter Engine carried out in cooperation with Safran Aircraft Engines
“FCAS is much more than merely an air defence system: it represents Europe’s big chance to reinforce its defence autonomy and to establish and expand its own supply chain for high-tech products. This is why long-term European partnerships are so important,” Michael Schreyögg, Chief Progamme Officer, MTU Aero Engines stated.gram Officer, MTU Aero Engines
The German company MTU Aero Engines founded the European Military Engine Team (EUMET) with its French partner, Safran Aircraft Engines, and in collaboration with its Spanish partner ITP Aero, to develop new technologies and engine demonstrators designed to meet the requirements of the European Future Combat Air System (FCAS), which is planned to enter service in 2040. MTU is responsible for its core competencies of high-pressure and low-pressure compressors and the compressor intermediate case as well as for parts of the control systems, and is the lead company for aspects of engine maintenance.
The requirements for the Next European Fighter Engine (NEFE) call for innovative technologies in engine development which have been clearly defined. Among them are increased survivability, maximum range and high mission flexibility, high availability, long operating times and low development and production costs. In addition there is a low radar signature, protection against cyber attacks and electromagnetic effects.
In the latest state-of-the-art engine manufacturing, the means of production must be able to communicate and connect with each other. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) will be used to optimise future manufacturing processes. MTU’s latest compressor blade manufacturing processes are mostly automated and digitally controlled. New materials for the NEFE will have to be lightweight, extremely resistant to heat and environmental influences. The company says that it focuses on inter-metallics which are materials produced by powder metallurgy for the manufacture of turbine blades, disks and housings. MTU told EDR On-Line that the NEFE was still in the research and technology phase that will be followed by an engine demonstrator between 2027 and 2032.
Photos courtesy MTU