WASHINGTON — The US Air Force has awarded a set of contracts to progress its Adaptive Engine Transition Program (AETP) forward.

General Electric Aviation and Pratt & Whitney each received a contract following their work on the previous development program. Both companies received contracts worth $1.01 billion, with a period of performance ending in Sept. 2021.

AETP seeks to revolutionize performance in engines used by the Air Force by adding a third stream of air inside the engine. The program's goal is to "demonstrate 25 percent improved fuel efficiency, 10 percent increased thrust, and significantly improved thermal management," according to an Air Force release.

It is expected that AETP will help drive requirements and capabilities for the service's next-generation air dominance platform. It is possible that developments from AETP could pour back into the F135 engine design, produced by Pratt, which powers the F-35 joint strike fighter fleet.

Twitter: @AaronMehta