Air Force Research Lab has given a $300 million contract to Rolls Royce’s LibertyWorks unit in Indianapolis to develop the Adaptive Versatile Engine Technology program leading to a next-generation propulsion system that will operate over a broad range of altitudes and speeds without sacrificing fuel efficiency. AFRL calls the ADVENT program “the next big step in turbine engine technology.” Rolls Royce has contributed technology to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter engine and other advanced engine programs. Phil Burkholder, COO for LibertyWorks, says that his unit and AFRL “will deliver some lasting changes that will dramatically reduce fuel consumption.” The Air Force expects work to be completed by September 2012.
The White House announced its United States Space Priorities Framework in a document released concurrently with Vice President Kamala Harris' first National Space Council meeting. Listed among five U.S. priorities is to “defend its national security interests from the growing scope and scale of space and counterspace threats.”