Pratt & Whitney, a business under RTX, announced the completion of a crucial design review for its Next-Generation Adaptive Propulsion (NGAP) offering in collaboration with the U.S. Air Force.
The milestone marks a step forward in the program, bringing it closer to the detailed design review phase. The NGAP prototype, known as XA103, is now set for ground testing in the late 2020s.
The NGAP initiative, part of the Defense Department's efforts launched in 2022, aims to develop an advanced cycle engine for the Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) fighter. The XA103, derived from technology developed under the Air Force's Adaptive Engine Transition Program (AETP), has moved closer to the detailed design review stage after passing a digital preliminary design review in November.
While the NGAP engine's details remain undisclosed, its target thrust range is known to be below the 45,000-lb.-thrust engines developed for AETP, primarily aimed at re-engining the F-35. The Air Force's decision to cancel AETP in favor of continuing NGAP indicates a strategic shift, building on key technologies from the earlier program, including adaptive engine controls, advanced materials, and cooling systems.
Pratt & Whitney's NGAP system is positioned as a critical component for future air dominance, offering advanced survivability, fuel efficiency, and robust power and thermal management. These capabilities are deemed essential to meet the evolving operational needs of future air dominance platforms.