Rolls-Royce has built its first electronic engine controller at a facility near Purdue University in Indiana to support the development of next-generation aircraft engine technologies.
The company said Wednesday it partnered with the Purdue Research Foundation to facilitate test and assembly activities for the controllers, which are meant to operate gas turbine engines and make adjustments based on fuel and air flow.
The recently completed controller is slated for installation into Rolls-Royce's AE 3007H turbofan engine before its delivery to Northrop Grumman for integration with the U.S. Navy's MQ-4C Triton unmanned aerial vehicle.
The U.S. Air Force's RQ-4 Global Hawk surveillance aircraft and the Navy's MQ-25 Stingray aerial refueling UAV are also slated to get the controllers along with the AE 3007H engines.
Rolls-Royce additionally plans to use the new controllers for the company's F130 engines, which it currently offers for the Air Force's B-52 bomber engine modernization competition.
Tom Bell, CEO of Rolls-Royce North America, said the engine manufacturing effort builds on the company's decades-long partnership with Purdue University.
Purdue University is a member of the Rolls-Royce University Technology Partnership and has collaborated with the firm on engine development efforts totaling $18M since 2015.