EVENDALE, Ohio -- The Royal Saudi Air Force has selected General Electric Company's F110 fighter engine to begin to re-engine its twin-engine Boeing F-15S aircraft. 

The agreement calls for the purchase of 65 of GE's F110-GE-129C engines and a logistic support package, with deliveries to begin in 2008, at a total value of more than $300 million. 

In selecting the GE engine, the Royal Saudi Air Force cited the F110's high performance, safety and reliability, and cost effective operation. The Royal Saudi Air Force decision marks the first time an F-15 operator has switched engine models. 

For more than 20 years, GE's F110 family has been the best-selling engine on single-engine F-16C/Ds worldwide, including in the Middle East. Recently, the F110 engine has made important progress in powering the twin-engine F-15. The F110 was first selected for 40 F-15K aircraft in 2002 by the Republic of Korea Air Force, followed by Singapore's selection last year for its new F-15SG fleet. 

The F110 has considerable experience on the F-15. In 1999, the U.S. Air Force completed a highly successful field service evaluation of the F110-GE-129 powering the F-15, during which time the engine surpassed 1,900 engine flight-hours. First flight of the Korean F-15K occurred in early 2005. 

"This is an important day in the history of the F110 engine program," said Russ Sparks, president of Military Engine Systems at GE Aviation. "For decades, GE has supported Royal Saudi Air Force aircraft, but this is an opportunity to power and support its front-line fighters." 

The F110-GE-129 engine model to power the Royal Saudi aircraft incorporates GE's Service Life Extension (SLEP) hardware, which includes the core of a successful CFM56 commercial engine, 3D aero technology and upgrades to the combustor and high-pressure turbine. The enhancements can help provide up to a 25 percent improvement in cost-per-flying hour, a significant on-wing increase and elimination of special inspections. 

GE Aviation, an operating unit of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE), is a world-leading provider of commercial and military jet engines and components as well as integrated digital, electric power, and mechanical systems for aircraft. GE Aviation also has a global service network to support these offerings.