Rolls-Royce has signed a deal with Liebherr-Aerospace to create a joint venture (JV) to develop a power gearbox for its UltraFan engines.

Planned to be located in Friedrichshafen, Germany, the 50:50 entity will engineer the power gear drive train components.

Liebherr will initially manufacture components at its existing facilities, and the JV will review the possibility of a standalone manufacturing infrastructure at a later date.

Design definition and integration of the power gearbox, as well as testing activities will be led by Rolls-Royce.

Rolls-Royce Aerospace president Tony Wood said: "The UltraFan engine design includes a suite of new technologies to power next-generation aircraft.

"This exciting new engine demonstrator programme [will] gives us the opportunity to break new ground and significantly enlarge our scope of activities."

"The power gearbox is an integral part of this new design, and we are delighted to be partnering with Liebherr on this highly efficient future power gearbox technology."

UltraFan technology is claimed to offer at least 25% greater fuel efficiency than the first-generation Rolls-Royce Trent engines.

The gearbox produced by the JV will facilitate UltraFan to deliver efficient power over take-off thrusts, for high-bypass ratio engines.

Each unit will be designed to handle the equivalent horsepower produced by more than 500 family cars, Rolls-Royce said.

Liebherr-Aerospace production, purchasing and asset investments managing director and COO Josef Gropper said: "We are thrilled to be participating in this exciting new engine demonstrator programme, which gives us the opportunity to break new ground and significantly enlarge our scope of activities."

Rolls-Royce Germany will be mainly responsible for majority of the design of power gearbox.

The company is currently setting up a power gearbox test centre in Dahlewitz, Berlin, with an investment of more than €80m.

Rolls-Royce has been using power gearboxes for many years, and is working on four geared designs, the AE2100, T56, LiftFan and Model 250.