The US Army has awarded a contract to Alternative Fuel Technologies (AFT) for the development of the ultra-high-pressure jet propellant-8 (JP-8) fuel injection system.

Under the contract, AFT will design, develop and demonstrate an intensified lube-oil-actuated common rail injection system that can produce peak injection pressures of more than 40,000psi (2,800bar).

The system uses the company’s advanced high-pressure dimethyl ether (DME) injection pump modified to pump engine lube oil to drive the new injector.

DME is a new ultra-clean diesel fuel replacement that can be produced and distributed at less than half the cost of conventional fuel.

Military equipment ranging from helicopters to diesel-powered trucks and generators use JP-8 jet fuel, which can fix durability and reliability issues for many types of commercial fuel injection systems.

The phase 1 contract is part of a federal small business innovative research contract worth $2bn.