Gray Wolf Program: New TDI-J85 Cruise Missile Engine Opens US Air Force


The United States tested the first of its kind small turbojet engine. The tests were carried out as part of the program under the symbolic name “Gray Wolf”.


The main objective of the program launched by the US Air Force is to develop technologies that could significantly reduce the cost of production of cruise missiles. But the engine is capable of driving other air systems, including unmanned aerial vehicles, the creation of which is receiving increasing attention in the US Army.

The TDI-J85 engine was introduced by Technical Directions Inc. (TDI), a division of renowned Kratos unmanned aerial vehicle manufacturer. The United States Air Force Research Laboratory is responsible for the implementation of the Gray Wolf program. It was she who published the photo of the F-16 Viper fighter carrying an aircraft with the Griffon Aerospace logo.

The start of work on the implementation of the Gray Wolf program first became known back in 2017, when the US Air Force Research Laboratory entered into an agreement with Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin. Then Northrop Grumman began working with Technical Directions Inc., which resulted in testing the engine.

Colonel Harry Haas, chief of the US Air Force’s Ammunition Management Research Laboratory, believes that successful testing will significantly increase the overall confidence of the US military in the effectiveness of both the new engine and weapons in general. Despite the fact that the development of the engine turned out to be quite complicated, the Air Force Research Laboratory, TDI and Northrop Grumman were able to establish, according to the colonel, "outstanding cooperation."

Gray Wolf Program: New TDI-J85 Cruise Missile Engine Opens US Air Force

So what is the TDI-J85? It is a turbojet engine with a weight of approximately 12,7 kg. For example, a Williams F107 turbofan engine mounted on an AGM-86B (ALCM) air-based cruise missile belongs to the thrust class of 600 pounds and weighs about 67 pounds, that is, twice as much as the proposed engine.

The US Air Force Research Laboratory notes that the TDI-J85 engine has been successfully tested, culminating in high-altitude engine operation. He met the developers' expectations for traction characteristics and showed extreme efficiency in fuel consumption.

The engine design was focused on accessibility and manufacturability, which allows to increase production. Test results confirmed engine performance

- said a representative of the US Air Force Research Laboratory.


Thus, the American military appeared the first engine of this class, able to successfully work at altitude. Of course, the undoubted advantage of the engine is its price category. It is much cheaper than other engines used in the American aviation. So far, the US Air Force has not announced the cost of one TDI-J85 engine. But it is known that six years ago, in 2014, the F107 engine cost 190 thousand dollars.

Meanwhile, it was the desire to reduce the cost of the engine that was one of the main factors that influenced the launch of the Gray Wolf program. Efficiency and low engine price can reduce the total cost of individual air-based cruise missiles.

The high cost of previous engines made the use of cruise missiles a very expensive undertaking. Therefore, the Air Force and thought about the need to reduce their cost. In turn, cheaper cruise missiles are more cruise missiles, which will achieve maximum effect during massive attacks.

Another important reason is the need for a long-range increase in range. weapons without the need to increase the amount of fuel used. In the new engine, the fuel load is reduced, which means that the cruise missile can be equipped with a larger warhead.

If the engines are put into mass production, the US Air Force will receive fundamentally new capabilities that will significantly enhance their combat power.
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  1. gridasov 21 March 2020 11: 04 New
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    All the same, do not change the basic physical principles of the engine. Hence the whole aggregate inefficiency. Design thinking stereotypes impede development
    1. Roman 57 rus 21 March 2020 13: 23 New
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      Do you have any suggestions ???
      1. gridasov 21 March 2020 13: 46 New
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        Of course! Moreover, we are talking about technology that is not only applicable in the engine industry, cardinally changing it to a new qualitative level. This technology is very widely used. By the way, relevant to the fight against a viral pandemic. Why, I have already written several times.
  2. Mountain shooter 21 March 2020 11: 10 New
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    All this is very good, that the engine of the same thrust will be two times lighter and two? but times cheaper ... But in a cruise missile, the cost of this unit is 20 percent. Well, there will be 10 ... Fuel economy is also 10 percent, no more. And this is not radical. Neither price reduction nor weight saving. 65 pounds, that's about 30 kg. Their pound 453 gr.
    Let it be twice as easy ... 12.7 kg ... 17 kg of savings. Let it be fuel ... 5% range?
    1. Zaurbek 21 March 2020 11: 28 New
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      The fact that it is easier and more economical, and the ability to take more fuel ....
      1. dauria 21 March 2020 13: 41 New
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        That it is lighter and more economical


        There is not a single characteristic, not a single chart, but we are already counting on a plane. Useless conversation. A turbojet engines now like dirt and the Americans and Europeans are sculpting. From 1 kg to a ton of traction. From a couple of thousand bucks to millions.
    2. Vladimir_2U 21 March 2020 11: 54 New
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      Here it is more important not the weight, but the diameter, for the F-107 it is indicated in 305 mm,
      and for this, 8,81 inches, this is 224 mm, and this is smaller than the dimensions of the ammunition / UAV itself, or large free volumes, which means more fuel, or explosives, or equipment. Not a breakthrough, but a notable achievement.
    3. FCSO 21 March 2020 15: 48 New
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      Yes, the author of the note is not at all in the subject of the word "completely." Otherwise, he would have known that the TDI-J85 belongs to the class of engines with a thrust of only "200 pounds"!
      Source: https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/32669/air-forces-gray-wolf-program-tests-game-changing-small-low-cost-jet-engine
      And the "Williams F107" belongs to the class of engines with a thrust of only "600 pounds"!
      Well, yes, on the AGM-86B you can put the TDI-J85 instead of the "Williams F107", and make the warhead harder. But the question arises, how will it fly with an engine whose thrust is three times lower? How will speed and range change? .. Nothing that the AGM-86B has a flight weight of almost one and a half tons? ..
    4. Vasyan1971 21 March 2020 15: 51 New
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      Quote: Mountain Shooter
      And this is not radical.

      Well, I don’t know ... Cent saves a dollar. Especially with such a bloated budget and a truly massive purchase.
      You might think ...
    5. orionvitt 21 March 2020 19: 56 New
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      Hard to believe. With a dead weight of 12.7 kg, have a traction of 600 pounds (270 kg)? Whereas the old Soviet, P95-300 for the X-55, with a weight of 80 kg, had a thrust of 300 kg. And besides, it was considered very good in its characteristics (mass, traction, specific fuel consumption). Americans are trying something. Maybe, of course, something turned out to be cheaper, I agree, but what I have stated is clearly giving away unprecedentedness.
  3. Private-K 21 March 2020 11: 10 New
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    I think that it makes no sense to continue to torment the outdated and doubtfully effective rocket concept of the development of the 1970s.
    The US needs a new CD with new features. But stamping Tomahawks, with a new engine or an old one, brought down by all modern means of air defense and hoping to break through due to numbers is a mistake.
    And on the basis of a new engine it is better to come up with something new.
    1. lucul 21 March 2020 11: 48 New
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      But stamping Tomahawks, with a new engine or an old one, brought down by all modern means of air defense and hoping to break through due to numbers is a mistake.

      So far, Tomahawks managed to bring down only us. For all other countries, this is an unbreakable weapon ....
    2. Morrrow 21 March 2020 14: 44 New
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      And who shot down the tomahawks?
    3. Vasyan1971 21 March 2020 15: 53 New
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      Quote: Private-K
      I think that it makes no sense to continue to torment the outdated and doubtfully effective rocket concept of the development of the 1970s.
      The US needs a new CD with new features.

      Right? Which side are you on? laughing Let them continue to torment.
    4. orionvitt 21 March 2020 20: 01 New
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      Quote: Private-K
      And on the basis of a new engine it is better to come up with something new.

      Well, firstly, there is nothing new in the new engine, except for the price. The claimed characteristics are in doubt. And secondly, “something new” is a finger to the sky. Specify.
  4. Dmitry Bolotsky 21 March 2020 11: 10 New
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    “So what is the TDI-J85? It's a turbojet engine that weighs about 12,7 kg. For example, the Williams F107 turbofan engine mounted on an AGM-86B air-launched cruise missile (ALCM) belongs to the thrust class in 600 pounds and weighs about 67 pounds, which is twice the size of the proposed engine. "
    But is it so hard to convert pounds to kilograms? Some articles left unfinished. In addition to weight, there is nothing more specific in terms of characteristics, such as fuel consumption, at what height the outstanding characteristics are - these are not at all secret data, but they are not. It looks like another American fake.
    1. Sky strike fighter 21 March 2020 11: 34 New
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      Yes, it doesn’t look like a fake. They want to make inexpensive CDs with these engines.
      Enhanced engines are also not limited to launching air-launched cruise missiles. Engines such as the TDI-J85 can help advance a new generation of other consumable systems, including decoys, as well as unmanned aerial vehicles.
      Thrust (idle - max.) 20-200 pounds (88-890 N) Power (idle - max.) 1,2 kW Engine weight 28 pounds (12,7 kg) Fuel pump weight 1,4 pounds (0,65, XNUMX kg)

      Content source: https://naukatehnika.com/turboreaktivnyj-dvigatel-tdi-j85-grey-wolf-dlya-krylatyx-raket.html
      naukatehnika.com
      1. orionvitt 21 March 2020 20: 10 New
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        Quote: Sky Strike fighter
        Deadlift (Idling - Max) 20-200 lbs

        In aircraft engines, there is no such thing as "idle", there is the concept of "low gas".
        Fuel Pump Weight 1,4 lbs. (0,65 kg)
        Is that even what? Why, then, the weight of the second stage blade, the high pressure compressor, is not indicated. Or the weight of the gas temperature sensor behind the turbine? Or the weight of the middle bearing? lol
      2. Dmitry Bolotsky 22 March 2020 15: 44 New
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        Thank you, Maxim! You better write an article! hi
  5. Sky strike fighter 21 March 2020 11: 14 New
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    By the way, the Americans experienced a hypersonic planning block.
    “The Ministry of Defense successfully tested the hypersonic planning unit during the flight experiment,” the department said.

    The rocket test video was posted on the Bridget Bosch YouTube channel.

    Test video at .https: //youtu.be/0c6NrhtD1E0
    http://in24.org/technology/39019
    1. jonht 21 March 2020 11: 23 New
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      Just planning to close up could for a long time, could not make maneuvering and controlled.
  6. Thrifty 21 March 2020 11: 20 New
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    And what kind of payload will the rocket end up with? Lighter engine with the same mass of the rocket? From the article it became clear that even the author of the article did not understand anything! !! am
    1. D16
      D16 21 March 2020 12: 00 New
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      And what kind of payload will the rocket end up with?

      This engine has three times less thrust than the F107-WR-101, which stood on the AGM-86. Draw your own conclusions laughing .
  7. Mouse 21 March 2020 11: 28 New
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    The main objective of the program launched by the US Air Force is to develop technologies that could significantly reduce the cost of production of cruise missiles.

    and under this reduction, new cash injections will be required ... wink
    1. D16
      D16 21 March 2020 12: 08 New
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      and under this reduction, new cash injections will be required ...

      And also warheads are better, wings are wider (engine is weak, but high-altitude), aerodynamic quality is higher. As a result, the product will turn out to be more expensive, but it will become even more anti-Poirish.
  8. lucul 21 March 2020 11: 47 New
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    So what is the TDI-J85? It is a turbojet engine with a weight of approximately 12,7 kg.

    This is not very good news for us .... Especially if they managed to seriously reduce the cost.
  9. voyaka uh 21 March 2020 12: 11 New
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    Turbojet engine weighing 13 kg.
    For a new generation of small jet drones.
    1. muham 21 March 2020 12: 21 New
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      Quote: voyaka uh
      Turbojet engine weighing 13 kg. For a new generation of small jet drones.

      But how small is he with the same traction? Flies on - yes, but place the stuffing, put a place on it.
  10. flicker 21 March 2020 13: 18 New
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    The article is about nothing.
    Like, the comment is too short, and therefore does not go away, for sim again: the article is about nothing.
  11. Operator 21 March 2020 13: 52 New
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    Russian air defense systems are like shooting down - subsonic missiles with an old engine or subsonic missiles with a new engine.

    Another thing is that reducing the diameter of the engine by 1,5 times, increasing the efficiency of its operation and lowering the cost will allow it to install turbojet engines on small UAVs.

    The next step is the turbofan version of the engine, which will make it possible to abandon the propeller engines for UAVs with take-off weights of 1 ton or more.
  12. Amateur 21 March 2020 15: 25 New
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    It is a turbojet engine with a weight of approximately 12,7 kg. For example, a Williams F107 turbofan engine mounted on an AGM-86B air-launched cruise missile (ALCM) belongs to the thrust class of 600 pounds and weighs about 67 pounds, i.e. twice as much

    And what is his craving? And the consumption g / km? Why is the comparison only by weight? With the same success, we can say that this engine is 594.4 times lighter than the GE90 engine from the Boeing 777. fool
  13. Warrior MorePhoto 21 March 2020 15: 57 New
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    Quote: gridasov
    All the same, do not change the basic physical principles of the engine. Hence the whole aggregate inefficiency. Design thinking stereotypes impede development


    The main meaning is "a lot and cheap," and the new physical principles will not be cheap, because at the initial stage, this is expensive research and testing.
    Regarding the use of this entire engine everywhere, everything is clear, the only task is simple manufacture, mass, cheap and the possibility of universal use (missiles, drones, kamikaze drones, etc.)
    1. gridasov 21 March 2020 16: 11 New
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      Calculations and initial tests of the main have already been completed. For those who are far away it is not just expensive, but ongoing expensive. Therefore, we are talking about the finished product. At least theoretically prepared.
  14. Fikys 21 March 2020 16: 06 New
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    Our people collect such engines in the garage, and they put it on a drone, also of its own manufacture. And also a bicycle and even a car! https://youtu.be/dYFYZ-g7fzA
  15. Dog
    Dog 21 March 2020 17: 55 New
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    "Gray Wolf"

    Some kind of too Russian name

    A gray top will come
    And grab the barrel
  16. Ax Matt 21 March 2020 21: 00 New
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    For every gray wolf there is ... a little red riding hood. Not to mention the hunters!
  17. lvov_aleksey 23 March 2020 19: 41 New
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    Quote: lucul
    But stamping Tomahawks, with a new engine or an old one, brought down by all modern means of air defense and hoping to break through due to numbers is a mistake.

    So far, Tomahawks managed to bring down only us. For all other countries, this is an unbreakable weapon ....

    Well said. Has anyone shot down ours?