The UK Royal Air Force’s (RAF) Typhoon fighter aircraft fleet is set to receive new sustainable battery-powered ground power units (GPU).
The announcement follows the completion of recent trials conducted by the UK Ministry of Defence’s procurement arm Defence and Equipment Support (DE&S) at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire, UK.
It was executed in collaboration with Coningsby’s Air Ground Equipment team and BAE Systems.
Following the successful trials, the DE&S’ Typhoon Delivery Team (DT) awarded a £4m contract to Denmark-based company ITW GSE for delivering a total of 40 electric GPUs.
The service is planning to purchase 30 additional GPUs in future.
The new GPUs will power the RAF’s Typhoon fighter jet fleet at RAF Coningsby and RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland.
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Designed to replace existing diesel-powered generators, the new electric systems will minimise harmful emissions by up to 90% while saving around £13m over a period of ten years, encompassing 80% of the total cost.
All the new units will be delivered to the RAF by March 2023.
Once new GPUs are delivered, the old diesel-powered units will be put through a ‘Reduce To Produce’ programme. It will involve the removal of spare parts to power the remaining fleet.
DE&S Typhoon DT flight lieutenant Adam Hayler said: “The current in-service diesel GPUs have a high fuel consumption, are noisy and have high carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions.
“In fact, around 42% of the CO₂ footprint from seeing-off aircraft comes from these GPUs.
“In contrast, this new eGPU is emission-free, quieter and, with its battery-powered unit, can be used inside hangars with no need for input cables or ventilation. It means we have a much cleaner and safer working environment.”