An illustration of Rolls’ and IHI’s joint future fighter engine demonstrator.

Rolls-Royce Co-Developing New Fighter Jet

Dec. 22, 2021
Work with IHI Corp. will begin early in 2022 toward joint development of a fighter engine demonstrator, to address British and Japanese future fighter aircraft requirements.

Rolls-Royce is working with IHI Corporation to develop and deliver a future fighter engine demonstrator, describing their effort as “a critical step forward in enabling the two nations to develop their future fighter aircraft requirements.” It also proposed that their effort could lead to hundreds of jobs in the U.K. and Japan.

IHI is a Japanese engineering and manufacturing conglomerate active in aerospace, defense, energy, construction, and transportation, among other interests.

Rolls noted that recent technology programs conducted by Japanese government and industries, along with technologies being developed in the U.K. Tempest fighter-jet program will contribute to the next-generation power and propulsion system.

Work on the new aircraft engine demonstrator will begin early in 2022, with an initial £30 million investment in the U.K. for planning, digital designs, and manufacturing developments.

Beyond that, a further £200 million is planned to develop a full-scale demonstrator power system at Rolls-Royce Filton, in Bristol, England.

“The Industry teams in both UK and Japan bring complementary technologies that will drive cleaner, next generation power and propulsion for both nations future fighter requirements,” according to Alex Zino, EVP Business Development and Future Programs at Rolls-Royce Defence.

He added: “The joint engine demonstrator program is an exciting opportunity to bring together some of the best combat air capabilities in the world and will also enable the development of innovative and critical technologies that will be fundamental to the future of the defense aerospace industry.”

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