Military jet developer AERALIS has marked a key milestone in the development of its modular military aircraft, entering a landmark Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Rolls-Royce to meet the company’s propulsion requirements.

The MOU was announced at DSEI and has been put in place to provide access to established UK aerospace resources as well as a fully integrated digital enterprise. Rolls-Royce Defence’s family of digital small propulsion system are being developed rapidly to deliver disruptive and innovative technologies whilst also being more cost effective. AERALIS are keen to take advantage of these advances in propulsion system design for their digitally developed modular air system.

MOU will explore how propulsion technology can be utilised across variant aircraft

AERALIS aircraft can be reconfigured with different single and twin-engine modules, so the MOU will also go on to explore how Rolls-Royce’s future propulsion system technology can be utilised across multiple AERALIS variant aircraft to meet different operational requirements, exploiting full digital engineering integration from trade studies to in-service operation. The MOU will focus initially on using Rolls-Royce’s propulsion systems powering the pre-production aircraft and the ability to integrate them digitally in the aircraft design process.

Air Commodore Jez Holmes, Head of the RAF’s Rapid Capabilities Office said: “I’m delighted to see AERALIS and Rolls Royce partnering to develop advanced digital design methodologies and investigate future power systems options for the AERALIS modular aircraft design.”

“This digital engineering and digital twinning approach could deliver considerable savings relative to traditional air system design, development and sustainment, and offer the opportunity for rapid capability adaption. As such, the learning achieved could be broadly applicable across a broad range of acquisition programmes including FCAS.”

First of a kind digital infrastructure

Tristan Crawford, CEO of AERALIS added: “We are delighted to announce our collaboration with such highly capable and respected partner in the industry. The fully integrated digital infrastructure that we will build alongside our aircraft is the first of its kind and we could not think of a better partner to be doing it with. We are excited to be developing this unique and innovative aircraft with such distinguished industry leaders.”

Alex Zino, Executive Vice President Business Development and Future Programmes at Rolls-Royce said: “We are looking forward to progressing this innovative programme with AERALIS to help them meet their power and propulsion needs. Innovation is at the heart of all we do at Rolls-Royce and we are committed to developing disruptive and cutting-edge technologies that will help advance this programme.”

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