East Hartford jet-engine maker Pratt & Whitney says it won a $33.8 million defense research contract to continue its development of a fuel-efficient hybrid turbine system to power the Navy's surface fleet.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the defense department's version of a skunk works, wants Pratt to move to phase two development of constant volume combustion (CVC) technology under the Vulcan engine program. Pratt got a $3 million contract in 2009 to begin phase one development.
The Navy sees Vulcan as a potential solution to its demand for powerful turbine engines that consume 20 percent less fuel, Pratt says.
Used in combination with jet turbines, CVC engines burn either jet or diesel fuel at a constant volume in contrast to conventional fleet engines that combust fuel at a constant pressure.