New system would more than double F-35's current cooling capability to support future upgrades and warfighters' urgent operational needs
WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn., Jan. 30, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- RTX (NYSE: RTX) today announced its Collins Aerospace business has demonstrated 80 kilowatts of cooling capacity across a range of operating conditions for its Enhanced Power and Cooling System (EPACS). Targeted as a replacement to the current F-35 power and thermal management system (PTMS), EPACS is positioned to support F-35 modernization and future upgrades that will help warfighters meet their urgent mission requirements.
"The F-35 is a mainstay of allied forces around the world," said Henry Brooks, president, Power & Controls for Collins Aerospace. "In order to modernize the platform with advanced systems to counter emerging threats, a significantly enhanced cooling capability is required. Through its more efficient thermodynamic cycle, EPACS can deliver the increased cooling the F-35 needs and help extend the life of the aircraft for decades to come."
According to the Government Accountability Office, the F-35's existing PTMS, used to cool aircraft subsystems that generate heat, is overtasked, requiring the engine to operate beyond design parameters. The added wear on the engine has already added substantial costs to the program's lifecycle cost estimate.
"Our service members urgently need an upgraded cooling and management system on the F-35 to keep pace with continuous modernization of the aircraft's capabilities," said U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney (CT-02). "The EPACS 80 kW cooling capacity achievement demonstrates a critical milestone that will rapidly enable vital F-35 warfighting capabilities while resulting in substantial cost savings to the taxpayer."
The cooling demand is set to increase beyond current capabilities as additional mission systems are added to the platform as part of planned upgrades. Recently, the F-35 Joint Program Office posted an RFI with a significantly expanded PTMS cooling capacity objective of 80 kilowatts. By delivering 80 kilowatts of cooling, more than double the platform's current capacity, EPACS would provide enough cooling to support planned F-35 upgrades with additional margin for the life of the aircraft.
With millions of hours of in-flight experience for the cooling and power generation systems it supplies across multiple commercial and military aircraft, Collins has leveraged proven technologies to design EPACS as a mature, low-risk solution. To minimize integration and operational risk while maximizing the value of existing F-35 assets in the field, EPACS is also intended to be compatible with all three platform variants.
About Collins Aerospace
Collins Aerospace, an RTX business, is a leader in integrated and intelligent solutions for the global aerospace and defense industry. Our 80,000 employees are dedicated to delivering future-focused technologies to advance sustainable and connected aviation, passenger safety and comfort, mission success, space exploration and more.
RTX is the world's largest aerospace and defense company. With more than 185,000 global employees, we push the limits of technology and science to redefine how we connect and protect our world. Through industry-leading businesses – Collins Aerospace, Pratt & Whitney, and Raytheon – we are advancing aviation, engineering integrated defense systems for operational success, and developing next-generation technology solutions and manufacturing to help global customers address their most critical challenges. The company, with 2023 sales of $68.9 billion, is headquartered in Arlington, Virginia.
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