GE Aviation Awarded $394M Contract for J85 Engine Supplies

General Electric (GE) Aviation has been awarded a firm-fixed price, requirements contract, worth a maximum $394 million, for supplies related to the J85 turbojet engine.

The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Aviation at Richmond, Virginia (SPE4AX-20-D-9445). Using military services are the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Navy. The J85 powers the U.S. Air Force/Navy’s Northrop T-38 Talon two-seat, twinjet supersonic jet trainer.

This is a five-year, six-month base contract with one four-year, six-month option period. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2020 through 2025 defense appropriated funds and working capital funds. This was a sole-source acquisition using justification 10 U.S. Code 2304 (c)(1), as stated in Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 6.302-1.

Location of performance is Massachusetts, with a Nov. 30, 2025, performance completion date.

General Electric J85

The General Electric J85 is a small single-shaft turbojet engine. It is one of GE’s most successful and longest in-service military jet engines.

Military versions of the engine produce up to 2,950 lbf (13.1 kN) of dry thrust; afterburning variants can reach up to 5,000 lbf (22 kN). The engine, depending upon additional equipment and specific model, weighs from 300 to 500 pounds (140 to 230 kg).

The engine is used to power Northrop T-38 Talon jet trainer, Northrop F-5 fighter aircraft, Canadair CT-114 Tutor jet trainer, and Cessna A-37 Dragonfly light attack aircraft. The U.S. Air Force plans to continue using the J85 in aircraft through 2040.

Civilian models, known as the CJ610, are similar but supplied without an afterburner, while the CF700 adds a rear-mounted fan for improved fuel economy. More recently, J85s have powered the Scaled Composites White Knight aircraft, the carrier for the Scaled Composites SpaceShipOne spacecraft, and the Me 262 Project.

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