GE Launches Greatly Enhanced F110 Engine Program
EVENDALE, Ohio - GE Aircraft Engines (GEAE) has launched a self-funded program to qualify an advanced, 21st-century version of the F110-GE-129 engine to power Lockheed Martin F-16C/D multi-role fighters and Boeing F-15E attack/air superiority fighters.
"We anticipate a growing international market for F-15 and F-16 aircraft," said Dennis Little, vice president and general manager of GEAE Military Engine Operations, "and we are investing the funds and effort in an engine that will offer maximum value, in the form of greater thrust, increased life, reduced maintenance, and unmatched flexibility, to the military services operating those aircraft."
Designated the F110-GE-129EFE (Enhanced Fighter Engine), the engine will be offered initially at a thrust rating of 34,000 pounds, with demonstrated growth capability to 36,000 pounds. Operating at lower thrust levels, however, will increase the engine service interval by as much as 50 percent.
The EFE incorporates innovative technologies developed for GE's Advanced Tactical Fighter engine and proven on the F-18E/F strike/attack aircraft and B-2 bomber engines. A more efficient, long-chord blisk fan provides greater air flow and higher pressure ratios for increased thrust and range. A rugged radial augmentor, in which the number of parts has been reduced by 25 percent, accounts for significantly lower maintenance costs.
The EFE is physically interchangeable with the F110-GE-129 engines currently powering F-16C/D and F-15E aircraft. In addition, today's -129 engines can be readily upgraded to the -129EFE configuration.
Qualification of the EFE to power F-16C/D and F-15E aircraft is targeted for December 1999, with production engine deliveries to begin in 2000.
The F110 engine has been highly successful, powering 85 percent of the F-16C/D fleet of the U.S. Air Force and 75 percent of the F-16C/Ds worldwide, including those of Bahrain, Egypt, Greece, Israel, and Turkey. The F110-GE-129 is also the powerplant for the Mitsubishi F-2 of the Japanese Defense Agency and is undergoing U.S. Air Force field service evaluation powering F-15Es.