Rolls-Royce has agreed to work with IHI Corporation to develop and deliver a future fighter engine demonstrator.
The engine demonstrator programme will be a critical step forward in enabling the two nations to develop their future fighter aircraft requirements, potentially securing hundreds of future jobs in the UK and Japan.
Work on the joint engine demonstrator will kickstart early next year, with the UK investing an initial £30 million in planning, digital designs and innovative manufacturing developments.
A further £200 million of UK funding is expected to go towards developing a full-scale demonstrator power system, supporting hundreds of highly skilled jobs, including many at Rolls-Royce’s Filton facility in Bristol.
Alex Zino, EVP Business Development and Future Programmes at Rolls-Royce Defence said:
“Across Rolls-Royce we have a longstanding and valued relationship with our customers and industry partners in Japan. The Industry teams in both UK and Japan bring complementary technologies that will drive cleaner, next generation power and propulsion for both nations future fighter requirements.
The joint engine demonstrator programme is an exciting opportunity to bring together some of the best combat air capabilities in the world and will also enable the development of innovative and critical technologies that will be fundamental to the future of the Defence aerospace industry.”
Rolls-Royce has a long and strong heritage of partnering in Japan through the development of technology, engineering and supply chain relationships since the 1960s. The company employs over 40 employees in the Kobe and Tokyo offices, and a further 5,000 Japanese work on Rolls-Royce programmes in our partner organisations.
The recent technology programmes conducted by Japanese government and Japanese industries, coupled with access to the technologies being developed in the UK Tempest programme will enable the development of a world-class next generation power and propulsion system.
Today’s announcement helps ensure Rolls-Royce enhances its world-class technology and capabilities and will lead to future UK prosperity. Technology development is key to Rolls-Royce’s competitiveness and future success, and we invest extensively in UK technology, accounting for approximately 3% of annual UK R&D investments. Rolls-Royce’s UK activities prior to COVID-19 represented 0.6% of UK GDP, or £12.1bn. More than 100,000 jobs across the UK are directly and indirectly supported by Rolls-Royce, bolstered by an annual spend of £2.8bn with over 2,300 UK suppliers. Rolls-Royce is a significant contributor to UK prosperity, accounting for around 2% on average of UK goods exports over the last three years.