The Air Force has approved a Rolls-Royce engine enhancement package for use on C-130 aircraft, the company announced Monday. The T56 Series 3.5 package was certified based on a projected 7.9 percent reduction in fuel, although “fuel savings have been as high as 13 percent in ground and flight testing,” according to the statement. “The enhancement package also allows T56 engines to operate at significantly lower turbine temperatures, extending parts life and improving reliability by 22 percent.” The Fiscal 2014 budget included $15.7 million to begin introducing the new technology into the fleet. Rolls-Royce spokesman George McLaren said in an email, “the Series 3.5 program would result in $2 Billion in savings and extend the life of the fleet for decades,” if implemented on the T56 engines. “Preliminary discussions with the Air Force are already under way and we would anticipate a contract from the Air Force in 2015,” he added.
As the Pentagon increasingly pivots its focus to strategic competition with China, the U.S. will look to expand its partnership with South Korea to increase security across the entire Indo-Pacific region, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said Dec. 2 during a visit to the northeastern Asian nation.