Raytheon Working On Megawatt Generator For AFRL

Credit: Raytheon Technologies

LE BOURGET—Raytheon Technologies is developing a 1-megawatt generator for the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), as part of the Air Force’s Advanced Turbine Technologies for Affordable Mission-Capability (ATTAM) program targeting potential technology applications on future manned and unmanned platforms.

The program leverages power systems work already under test and development by Collins Aerospace for Raytheon Technologies’ hybrid-electric demonstrator programs. These include the hybrid-electric flight demonstrator (HED), a modified De Havilland Dash 8, due to fly in 2024, and the Sustainable Water-Injecting Turbofan Comprising Hybrid-Electrics (SWITCH) project – an advanced propulsion program supported by the European Union’s Clean Aviation initiative.

Credit: Collins Aerospace

Announcing the news during the Paris Air Show, Raytheon says the generator could be used to support the growing onboard electric power demands of advanced military mission systems, avionics and high-energy weapons. The company adds that the generator could also be applied to efforts similar to the HED in which the unit could be paired with a fuel-burning engine in a hybrid-electric propulsion architecture to increase range and minimize aerial refueling requirements.

Initial generator hardware will be delivered to AFRL in 2024. Tests of the generator to Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 5 will be conducted next year in the company’s Grid - the advanced electric power systems lab – which is slated to open in coming months in Rockford, Illinois.

Raytheon Technologies adds that Pratt & Whitney is supporting the 1-megawatt generator program by studying future engine integration opportunities.

Guy Norris

Guy is a Senior Editor for Aviation Week, covering technology and propulsion. He is based in Colorado Springs.