June 18, 2007
LE BOURGET -- General Electric Company's F110, F404 and F414 engine families have successfully powered fighter aircraft since the 1980s. And yet these engines have a bright, long-term future through the infusion of new designs, integration of commercial engine technologies, and expansion of aircraft applications and services worldwide.
F110 engine family
F-16: More than 2,600 F110 engines have been ordered worldwide since initial selection by the United States Air Force (USAF) in 1984, making it the best-selling power for Lockheed Martin F-16C/D fighter aircraft. In addition to the USAF, F110 engines power aircraft of 11 international forces.
Recently, the Turkish Air Force (TuAF) ordered F110-GE-129B engines to power 30 new Lockheed Martin F-16E/F aircraft. The F110-GE-129B engine represents the Service Life Extension Program (SLEP) configuration and incorporates the core of the CFM56-7 commercial engine (which powers the Boeing Next-Generation 737s), three-dimensional aerodynamic technology and improved flow path hardware. Combined, these enhancements deliver a 25% improvement in cost-per-flying-hour and a significant time-on-wing increase.
The TuAF has also elected to perform the SLEP modification on existing F110 engines for its fleet of F-16 aircraft, making it the first country to select SLEP internationally. The U.S. Government has awarded GE SLEP contracts totaling $220 million to upgrade more than 340 F110 engines for F-16C/D aircraft to date, and estimates the potential fleet savings of 800 F110 engines at approximately $1 billion over the life of the program.
The latest generation of GE F110 engines, the F110-GE-132, was delivered to the United Arab Emirates in 2003, with first aircraft arriving in country in May 2005. The -132 is also supporting the USAF F-16 aircraft used for production-line assistance and customer demonstration flights at Lockheed Martin. Launched in 2000 with its selection for 80 Block 60 F-16 aircraft, the -132 produces up to 32,500 pounds (145 kN) of thrust, thanks to a new blisk fan configuration, which has fewer parts and higher airflow.
F-15: In January 2006, the government of Singapore selected the F110 to power 12 F-15SG fighter aircraft (plus eight additional options), an advanced version of the F-15E. Engine deliveries are scheduled to begin in mid- 2008.
First flight of the F110-GE-129 powering the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) F-15K, Boeing's newest fighter aircraft in production, occurred in March 2005. ROKAF selected the F110 to power 40 new Boeing F-15K aircraft in 2002, launching the popular F110 on the twin-engine application. Seventy-eight of the F110 engines will be assembled through a licensing agreement with Samsung Techwin Co, Ltd. The F110-GE-129 is also being offered on the F-15K in response to the Republic of Korea's recent tender for 20 additional fighter aircraft.
F404 engine family
F/A-18 and F-117: The F404 fighter engine family is one of the most successful in military aviation history. More than 4,000 F404 engines power F/A-18 Hornets of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, USAF F-117 Stealth Fighters, as well as Hornets of the air forces of Australia, Canada, Finland, Kuwait, Malaysia, Spain, and Switzerland.
LCA: In February 2007, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) ordered an additional 24 F404-GE-IN20 afterburning engines to power the first operational squadron of Tejas fighter aircraft for the Indian Air Force. The order follows an initial 2004 purchase of 17 F404-GE-IN20 engines to power a limited series of operational production aircraft and naval prototypes. Earlier this year, the F404-GE-IN20 was trial-installed in a Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) as part of final evaluations toward flight-testing scheduled for later this year.
The F404-IN20 engine has generated more than 19,000 pounds (85 kN) uninstalled thrust and has completed 330 hours of Accelerated Mission testing, which is the equivalent of 1,000 hours of flight operation.
T-50 Golden Eagle: The F404-GE-102 has powered the single-engine T-50 advanced jet trainer/light fighter in a successful flight test program that concluded in September 2005 and cleared requirements for production aircraft deliveries to begin in October 2005. GE is under contract to deliver 84 engines, with engine deliveries to Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) running through 2011. T-50 International (formed by KAI and Lockheed Martin) continues to market the aircraft to potential export customers.
JAS39 Gripen: GE has initiated deliveries of F404/RM12 engine kits for the Gripens for South Africa. That country has ordered 28 of the Saab-produced Gripens, with engine kit deliveries scheduled to conclude in 2010. Hungary received the first five Gripens from the Swedish Air Force in 2006, and nine additional deliveries are planned for December 2007. The Czech Republic also operates 14 Gripens. The Gripen is also a candidate in fighter competitions of several other countries.
F414 engine family
F/A-18 Super Hornet: With more than 750,000 flight-hours, the F414 engine continues to exceed U.S. Navy reliability goals. The F414-powered F/A-18E/F Super Hornet has expanded its presence in the U.S. Navy fleet, with 17 active squadrons available for carrier deployment. To date, more than 725 F414 engines have been delivered.
In March, Australia announced its decision to procure 24 F414-powered F/A-18E/F Super Hornets. Engine deliveries will begin in 2009. With this order, Australia becomes the first international customer for the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. The engine agreement includes plans for a two-year logistics support package and a 10-year Performance Based Logistics (PBL) program, making Australia the first international customer for F414 PBLs.
PBLs are designed to optimize fleet performance and logistics readiness while minimizing support costs. As an example, since the initial $510 million F404 PBL contract was launched with the U.S. Navy in 2003, spare parts availability has improved by 40%, while scrap and repair cycle times have decreased by 30%.
This initiative has resulted in a similar contract for the F414, under which GE provides the U.S. Navy with all consumable and repairable components for their Organizational and Intermediate maintenance facilities as well as 17 major assemblies for its Depot facilities. The F414 Depot Component PBL signed in December 2006 provides availability of major F414 assemblies for the depot and covers the Navy through the end of 2010. Additional PBL contracts were awarded in September 2005 for U.S. Army T700 Depot maintenance and for the supply of more than 2,500 components for F404 engines at the Defense Logistics Agency at Richmond, Virginia.
F414 Advanced Programs
GE continues testing advanced versions of the F414, including an Enhanced Durability Engine (EDE) that can provide either a 20% increase in thrust or extended component life at current thrust levels.
The F414-based advanced technology demonstrator engine recently completed a test program that utilized a two-stage, all-blisk (integrated blade and disk) fan, an advanced six-stage high-pressure compressor (HPC) and a new high-pressure turbine (HPT) design. The engine ran to 100% of maximum steady core speed and successfully completed all program objectives during more than 20 hours of testing.
The new fan design incorporates three-dimensional aerodynamic, forward-swept airfoil technology, which provides approximately 10% higher airflow, improved efficiency and reduced parts count compared with current F414 fans. The ongoing demonstrator program also included validation testing for high-cycle-fatigue design methods, and foreign object damage-tolerant fan and compressor airfoil designs.
GE - Aviation, a part of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE), is one of the world's leading manufacturers of jet engines for civil and military aircraft.