ATK to manufacture composite fan cases for A350 XWB engines

The $200 million contract has ATK making composite aft fan cases for the new Trent XWB engine for the Airbus A350 XWB.

Alliant Techsystems (ATK, Minneapolis, Minn.) on Jan. 28 announced that it has agreed to a contract of more than $200 million (USD) with Rolls-Royce (London, U.K.) to produce composite aft fan cases for the new Trent XWB engine, the sole power plant currently available on the new Airbus A350 XWB family of aircraft. To date, Rolls-Royce has received orders for more than 1,000 Trent XWB engines. Under terms of the contract, ATK becomes a partner on the Trent XWB program and will integrate additional components into the cases in support of Rolls-Royce’s assembly of the full fan case module.

The first aft fan case is scheduled for delivery to Rolls-Royce in late 2009. Initial ground testing of the Trent XWB is due to commence in 2010, with maiden flight on the new Airbus twinjet scheduled for 2012.

“ATK’s decades of experience in composite fabrication technology offer our customers industry-best quality and affordability that can only come from automated fabrication processes,” says Jack Cronin, president, ATK Mission Systems. “The era of composite aircraft will revolutionize the industry. We look forward to working with Rolls-Royce on this exciting new program.”

In addition to the composites ATK will provide for the Trent XWB, the company also produces composite fan containment cases for commercial aircraft engines; composite solid rocket motor casings and launch vehicle payload fairings; composite military aircraft wingskins, stabilators and pivot shafts for aircraft, such as the F-22 and Joint Strike Fighter; and composite rotor tubes for nuclear power generation.