RTX has conducted a successful lab test of its Enhanced Power and Cooling System (EPACS), developed by its Collins Aerospace business. EPACS is designed to support F-35 Block 4 modernization and future upgrades. The company anticipates EPACS will achieve Technology Readiness Level 6 in 2023 and be ready to begin an Engineering & Manufacturing Development program as early as 2024.
Through its more efficient thermodynamic cycle, EPACS provides significantly more cooling capacity to the platform and requires less energy from the engine, thus helping to unlock improved engine performance and durability. The system will deliver more than twice the current cooling capability to support additional growth beyond Block 4 and is expected to provide enough cooling capacity for the life of the aircraft. In addition, EPACS fits within the existing envelope and is intended to be compatible with all three F-35 variants.
Engineered to supply cooling, main engine start and emergency power functionality for the F-35, EPACS includes an air cycle system, electric power generator and controller from Collins along with an auxiliary power unit from Pratt & Whitney.
“By leveraging proven technologies already in service on commercial and military aircraft, EPACS is a mature system that will help maximize F-35 performance for decades to come,” said Ira Grimmett, vice president, Environmental & Airframe Control Systems for Collins Aerospace. “Using our state-of-the-art test lab in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, we have begun demonstrating the system’s capacity to deliver more than twice the current cooling capability, validating EPACS as the best solution for Block 4 and beyond. We are excited for the opportunity to work with Lockheed Martin and the Joint Program Office to bring this solution forward.”