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GKN Aerospace announced its participation in feasibility studies for the next generation of fighter jet engines during FIA Connect, the digital reincarnation of the cancelled Farnborough International Airshow, last week.

Saab and GKN Aerospace Sweden are the two Swedish companies forming part of the British-Italian-Swedish collaboration conducting feasibility studies into technology development for future combat air systems – an issue designated as a ‘national security interest’ by Sweden. Joint technology development will enable Sweden to build and sustain continuous development of competencies and capabilities in a cost-effective manner. Earlier this year, GKN Aerospace was contracted by FMV to conduct a study on collaboration with Rolls Royce for technology development in future fighter engines.

Future fighter jets will impose entirely new demands on the engine, which will not only have to meet increased propulsion needs, but also supply increasingly demanding sensors and weapons with more power output and cooling needs. Compared with today’s fighter engines, a substantial leap in technology is required.

[This exciting collaboration] seamlessly fits our ambition to develop our market position in engine systems and enables us to benefit from synergies between our civil and military aircraft engine technologies. We have many years of experience in international cooperation and we are convinced that this is the right way to go. Developing such a complex system as a new fighter jet engine is a major challenge that will require a lot of resources over a long period of time. The cooperation shall take advantage of the best skills from each company while strengthening the ability of companies to support their respective countries' air forces,” commented Joakim Andersson, President of Engine Systems at GKN Aerospace.

GKN Aerospace Sweden has a long history of developing technology and engines and of ensuring safety, reliability and cost-effectiveness for Swedish defence. The company holds the type certificate for the RM12 engine in the GRIPEN C/D and was recently selected to provide product support for the RM16 engine in the GRIPEN E.

GKN Aerospace’s Generic Engine design. (Image: GKN Aerospace)

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