Propulsion

XA100 Adaptive Cycle Engine

The future of the F-35 is adaptive

Bringing long-term, transformational capability to the F-35A and F-35C

XA100 Adaptive cycle engine

A new era of combat propulsion

As the F-35 evolves to stay ahead in an increasingly competitive environment, its engine must keep up. That means an engine with transformational increases in power and cooling capacity for next-generation systems, better fuel economy, additional thrust, and more durability than today.

GE is ready to answer the call with the XA100 adaptive cycle engine. Designed, built and testing through the U.S. Air Force's Adaptive Engine Transition Program (AETP), the XA100 represents a step-change in propulsion that maximizes the F-35A and F-35C's capabilities for decades to come.

General Electric

Unrivaled performance,
validated by test

GE’s XA100 became the world’s first ever flight-weight, three-stream adaptive cycle engine to fire up in December 2020 before initiating tests on a second engine in August 2021. The XA100 began tests at the U.S. Air Force's Arnold Engineering Development Complex in March 2022.

GE’s engine is uniquely designed to fit both the F-35A and F-35C without any structural modifications to either airframe — meaning compatibility with nearly 90% of the F-35 program of record.

This engine enables transformational benefits in aircraft range, acceleration, and cooling power to accommodate next-generation mission systems, while also ensuring durability and enhanced readiness.


Why the Time is Now for GE’s XA100

The Future of the F-35 is Adaptive

General Electric


Creating new operational possibilities

>10
%
More thrust

Adaptive engine

This adaptive cycle engine provides a high thrust mode for maximum power and high efficiency mode to extend mission range. Automatically alternating between these modes dramatically transforms mission capability and enables unrestricted operations.

2
x
POWER & Thermal management capability

Third stream advantage

This advanced capability provides an extra source of cooled air to improve propulsive and fuel efficiency. Most importantly, it enables a step-change in power and thermal management capability that will be required to accommodate and fully exploit the next-generation mission systems on the F-35.

25
%
BETTER fuel efficiency

Advanced materials and components

Ceramic matrix composites (CMC) can withstand temperatures of hundreds of degrees while being lighter weight and more durable than traditional materials. The use of additive manufacturing has lessened the engine’s weight, reduced the number of parts, and will improve serviceability.

Engine Advantages


Fuel savings

Three-stream, adaptive architecture enables lower fuel spend and reduces tanker reliance

25% betterFuel Consumption
xa100 fuel consumption savings

More thrust

To give fighter pilots more of what they need, when they need it

>10%Greater Thrust
xa100 more thrust

Better heat absorption

Enabled through 3D-printed (additive) heat exchangers

2xThermal Management Capacity

Carbon reduction benefits

Reducing CO2 emissions over F-35 life cycle

SAF CompatibleCan operate on U.S. Air Force-approved Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF), commonly known as "biofuels"
xa100 more thrust

Lighter and more durable

Ceramic matrix composites (CMC) are 1/3 the weight of traditional metal parts

500°F Can withstand 500°F more heat
xa100 fuel consumption savings

Aircraft Benefits

Uniquely designed to fit both the F-35A and F-35C without any structural modifications to either airframe — meaning compatibility with nearly 90% of the F-35 program of record.


Increased range

So pilots can fly longer in more combat scenarios

30%Increase in range
xa100 benefits

Increased acceleration 

To allow pilots more nimble tactics and aggressive pursuit

20-40%Greater acceleration
xa100 increased acceleration

Next-generation mission systems

As new missions systems are introduced to the F-35, this engine’s third stream will provide significant improvements in thermal management to enable mission systems growth for decades to come

2X Mission systems growth potential
xa100 nextgen systems

The XA100 is a product of GE's Edison Works, a team dedicated to the research, development, and production of advanced military solutions.
This team has full responsibility for strategy, innovation, and execution of advanced programs.

The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.

XA100 News

Related News