Military, Products

Rolls, V-22 Program Square Off on Engines

By Richard Whittle | March 19, 2008

Rolls-Royce and the U.S. Naval Air Systems Command are at odds over a "power-by-the-hour" contract signed in 1998 to sustain AE1107C Liberty engines for the V-22 Osprey. Rolls wants out of the deal, which it has told NavAir is no longer cost-effective. In response, NavAir is considering options as drastic as buying new engines for the tilt-rotor troop transport, U.S. Marine Col. Matthew Mulhern, V-22 program manager, said March 18. A Rolls official said the contract was 'currently being revisited to address specific issues based on what has been learned over these last 10 years." Under a bridge agreement signed a year ago, NavAir agreed to reconsider the engine sustainment contract. But it wants Rolls to document that it is losing money under the power-by-the-hour contract before it will sign a new one. The Osprey’s turboshaft engines are performing well for Marine squadrons in the United States and one in Iraq, but Rolls' estimates on how long components would last were "a little off," Mulhern told reporters at the Navy League Sea-Air-Space Exposition 2008 in Washington. The V-22 program might "have to go to a more traditional-type engine support, whether that’s with a government depot or something through Rolls-Royce,” Mulhern said, or even "go find a new motor." For related news


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