Locust USA, Inc, through its wholly owned subsidiary UAV Turbines, Inc. (“UAVT”), a developer of advanced heavy-fuel microturbine propulsion systems, announced that it has entered into a USD 19 million Technology Investment Agreement (“TIA”) with the US Army to collaborate in development of an efficient and reliable/durable small turboprop gas turbine engine for propulsion in the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) arena, the company said.
The development goals encompass engine capabilities beneficial to both military and commercial markets. This initiative is part of the Army´s “Reliable Advanced Small Power Systems (RASPS) Technology Demonstration” program whose overall objective is to design, manufacture and test a 200 shp class advanced technology engine to technical readiness level (TRL) 6.
The fundamental technology for development of the more advanced 200 shp class turbine engine that RASPS will develop over the next 5 years has been demonstrated in UAVT´s UTP50R propulsion system, a 50 hp class turbine engine with a recuperator, high-speed gearbox, variable-pitch propeller, and Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC).
UAVT is a privately owned, Florida based company focused on the research, design, and development of microturbines for use in UAV propulsion systems and portable ground power applications. Through its parent company Locust USA, founded in 2000, UAVT has been tasked with designing and developing small, quiet, lightweight, fuel efficient turbines that run on heavy fuels.
US Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development, and Engineering Center provides increased responsiveness to the nation´s Warfighter through aviation and missile capabilities and life cycle engineering solutions.