This paper evaluates the potential impact of utilizing advanced engine technology for a limited life, combat capable, unmanned air vehicle (UAV) application. A study was conducted to define payoffs in terms of mission capability and system level life cycle costs (LCC) associated with implementing three different engine development approaches into a combat capable UAV design. The three different approaches considered were: a new, advanced technology engine; an existing (off-the-shelf) engine; and a derivative of an existing engine with limited technology insertion. A detailed vehicle configuration design was developed to conduct this assessment, including a low observable (LO), highly integrated engine/airframe layout for survivability and mission adaptable considerations. The vehicle is designed with multirole mission capability such as suppression of enemy air defense (SEAD), close air support (CAS), and battlefield air interdiction (BAI). A system level performance comparison is assessed with the three different engine approaches, specifically for the SEAD-type mission. For the cost analysis, the multirole mission capability is reflected in the overall assumptions such as in the number of aircraft needed to meet the mission requirements. A system level assessment such as in this study is essential in determining whether the additional costs associated with the development of a new, advanced engine is worth the investment. The results of this study suggest that advanced engine technology insertion can provide significant benefits in terms of mission range capability, vehicle weight/size, and overall life cycle costs versus an existing engine.

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