GE F110 and F404/F414 Fighter Engines Expand Capability and Global Presence
FARNBOROUGH -- 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 technologies, integration of commercial engine designs, and expansion of aircraft applications worldwide.
F110 engine family
F-16E/F: For almost two decades, GE's F110 engine family has been the best-selling engine for single-engine Lockheed Martin F-16C/Ds worldwide. The latest generation of GE F110 engines powering F-16 fighters, 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 U.S. Air Force (USAF) F-16 aircraft used for production-line assistance and customer demonstration flights at Lockheed Martin.
The F110-GE-132 was launched in 2000 with its selection for 80 Block 60 F-16 aircraft. The engine is derived from the highly successful F110-GE-100 and F110-GE-129 engines, which power 70 percent of the latest-generation F-16C/Ds worldwide. The F110-GE-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.
More than 3,000 F110 engines have been ordered worldwide since the engine was first selected by the USAF in 1984.
Service Life Extension Program: The US Government has awarded GE contracts totaling $300 million to upgrade more than 200 F110 engines for F-16C/D aircraft as part of a Service Life Extension Program (SLEP).
Funded in the USAF F110 Component Improvement Program, the SLEP upgrade includes the core of the successful CFM56-7* commercial engine (which powers the Boeing Next-Generation 737s), three-dimensional (3D) aero technology, and a redesigned flowpath with changes to the combustor and high-pressure turbine. The enhancements can help provide up to a 25% improvement in cost-per-flying-hour, a significant time-on-wing increase, and elimination of special inspections.
GE and the USAF estimate the potential savings of SLEP to a USAF fleet of 800 F110 engines at approximately $1 billion. The SLEP configuration is incorporated in F110 engines being delivered by GE beyond 2006.
SLEP concepts are also being identified for other engines, including the F101 for the B-1B and the F118 for B-2 and U-2S aircraft.
In January 2006, the government of Singapore selected the F110 to power 12 F-15SG aircraft, 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.
F404/F414 engine family
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. F404 derivatives power India's Light Combat Aircraft, Singapore's A-4SU Super Skyhawk, Sweden's JAS 39 Gripen, and Korea's T-50 Golden Eagle. Recent developments include:
JAS 39 Gripen: GE has initiated deliveries of F404/RM12 engine kits for the JAS 39 Gripens for South Africa. That country has ordered 28 of the Saab-produced Gripens. Hungary received the first five Gripens from the Swedish Air Force earlier this year, and nine additional deliveries are planned for December 2007. The Czech Republic took delivery of fourteen Gripens in 2005. The Gripen is also a candidate in fighter competitions of several other countries.
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 cleared requirements for production deliveries to begin late last year. Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) produces the T-50 Golden Eagle for the ROKAF, which has announced plans to initially procure 94 aircraft. GE is under contract to deliver 27 engines, with the follow-on contract anticipated in 2006. Production engine deliveries to KAI began in 2005. T-50 International (formed by KAI and Lockheed Martin) continues to market the aircraft to potential export customers.
India LCA: F404-IN20 validation testing is nearing completion with initial deliveries of production engines for the India Light Combat Aircraft (Tejas) program scheduled for mid 2006. Testing has included installed performance/operability, plus validation of control schedules and mechanical systems. The engine has generated more than 19,000 pounds (85 kN) thrust during the program. Indian defense officials have ordered 17 engines to power initial Tejas production aircraft and have expressed interest in procuring an additional 20 aircraft, with options for 20 more.
F414: With more than 500,000 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 19 active squadrons available for carrier deployment. To date, more than 600 F414 engines have been delivered in support of the Navy's plan to purchase engines and spares for 552 twin-engine F/A-18E/F and EA-18G aircraft.
GE has continued testing growth versions of the F414, including an Enhanced Durability Engine (EDE) that includes an advanced core that can provide either a 15% increase in thrust or extended component life at current thrust levels. This configuration uses a six-stage, 3D aero high-pressure compressor and an advanced high-pressure turbine. The new compressor increases airflow and efficiency while the advanced turbine has higher temperature capability and improved efficiency.
GE has also completed extensive rig testing of the new high-pressure compressor and a new two- stage advanced fan. This year, GE will test this new fan with the EDE core to provide up to 20% more thrust than the current F414.
In addition to powering the Super Hornet, the F414 has been selected by the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (EADS) for the Mako advanced trainer/light combat aircraft. The F414 is also a potential powerplant for growth versions of the Saab Gripen KAI/LMTAS A-50 light fighter (derivative of the T-50 advanced trainer) and other combat aircraft under development.
Customized Service Offerings: GE offers a full range of aftermarket services for military customers to optimize fleet performance and logistics readiness while minimizing support costs. As an example, since the initial $510 million F404 Performance Based Logistics (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 since spawned 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 level maintenance facilities. Additional PBL contracts are in place 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, awarded in September 2005.
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. Visit us online at http://www.ge.com/aviation.
* CFM and CFM56 are trademarks of CFM International, a joint company of Snecma, France and General Electric Co., USA