EVENDALE, Ohio -- GE Aircraft Engines (GEAE) has formally completed all qualification testing of its higher-thrust F110 fighter engine, the F110-GE-132, for the Lockheed Martin Block 60 F-16E/F aircraft. 

The U.S. Air Force (USAF) concurred with GEAE's recommendation that the F110-GE-132 engine has concluded all engine qualification activities, clearing the way for the engine to enter operational service on the Block 60 F-16 aircraft. 

"The qualification of the propulsion system is a culmination of the outstanding efforts of the GEAE and Lockheed Martin teams," said Russ Sparks, vice president and general manager of Military Engine Operation at GEAE. "The feedback from the test pilots and our customer has been extremely positive, and we are confident the engine will continue to perform well in upcoming tests." 

Flight tests of the Block 60 F-16 aircraft are scheduled for late 2003. The F110-GE-132 engine successfully completed the first phase of flight testing powering a modified Block 50 F-16 aircraft in April. 

The F110-GE-132 engine was launched in 2000 with its selection by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for 80 Block 60 F-16E/F aircraft. The engine is derived from the highly successful F110-GE-100 and F110-GE-129 engines, which power 70 percent of the F-16C/Ds worldwide. The F110-GE-132 produces up to 32,500 pounds (144 kN) of thrust, which is the highest thrust of any engine powering F-16s. 

The F110-GE-132 utilizes GEAE's extensive technology base, including: a long-chord blisk fan derived from the F118 engine (B-2 bomber); a radial afterburner derived from the F414 engine (F/A-18E/F fighter) and enhanced for the F136 engine (Joint Strike Fighter); and a composite outer duct based on the duct of the F404 (F-117 Stealth fighter) and F414 engines. 

GE Aircraft Engines, a division of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE http://www.ge.com), is the world's leading manufacturer of jet engines for civil and military aircraft. GEAE also manufactures gas turbines, derived from its highly successful jet engine programs, for marine and industrial applications. In addition, GEAE provides comprehensive maintenance support, through its GE Engine Services operation, for GE and non-GE jet engines in service throughout the world. Visit GEAE online at http://www.geae.com.