General Electric Awarded $101 Million for F-15EX Engine Production

General Electric (GE) Aviation has been awarded $101 million undefinitized contract action by the U.S. Air Force under a new firm-fixed-price contract for F-15EX Lot One engine production.

This action provides for the purchase and delivery of F110-GE-129 turbofan engines, including installs and spares and modernized engine monitoring system computers. The U.S. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC) at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8626-20-C-0016).

The contract work will be performed in Cincinnati, Ohio, and is expected to be completed Nov. 30, 2022.

Boeing F-15EX

F-15EX is the most advanced variant of Boeing F-15 Eagle/F-15E Strike Eagle fighter aircraft to date. Its is a derivative of the F-15SA aircraft currently operational with the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) and the F-15QA aircraft being developed for the Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF).

Boeing F-15EX
Boeing F-15EX

Improvements over the previous versions include the AMBER (Advanced Missile and Bomb Ejection Rack) weapons rack to carry up to 22 air-to-air missiles (AAMs), infra-red search and track (IRST), advanced avionics and electronics warfare (EW) equipment, AESA radar, and revised structure with a service life of 20,000 hours.

In December 2018, it was reported that the Pentagon was planning to request $1.2 billion for 12 F-15Xs in its FY 2020 budget. In the Budget released in March 2019, the Department of Defense requested US$1.1 billion to procure eight F-15EX fighters of a total planned procurement of 144 F-15EXs.

GE Aviation F110

General Electric F110 is a family of afterburning turbofan jet engines produced by General Electric Aviation (GE Aviation). The F110 engine powers almost 70 percent of U.S. Air Force F-16C/D Fighting Falcon combat aircraft, as well as 86 percent of Boeing F-15E Strike Eagle fighter jets delivered globally in the last 15 years.

General Electric F110-GE-129
MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan — The 35th Maintenance Squadron test cell, or hush house, provides a testing area for an F110-GE-129 engine March 4, 2009. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jamal D. Sutter)

The engine uses the same engine core design as the General Electric F101 engine that powers the B-1 Lancer strategic bomber. The F118 engine, that powers B-2 Spirit stealth bomber, is a non-afterburning variant of F110.

History

The U.S. Air Force originally procured the F110 engine in 1984 to power a majority of its F-16 fleet. The first GE-powered F-16s went into service in 1987. The F110 also powered the venerable F-14B/D Tomcat. In addition, many other nations around the globe have selected the F110 engine to power their F-16 fleets, as well as variants of the twin-engine F-15 fighter jet.

The F110 powers F-16 fleets in Bahrain, Chile, Egypt, Greece, Israel, Oman, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates and was selected by Bulgaria, Slovakia and Taiwan. The engine also powers F-15 fleets in Saudi Arabia, South Korea, and Singapore and will power Qatar’s F-15s starting in 2021. The F110 also powers Japan’s F-2 indigenous fighter. To date, 3,400 F110 engines have been ordered worldwide.

In September 2019, the F110 engine family surpassed 10 million flight hours.

The newest F110 variants have gone through GE’s Service Life Extension Program (SLEP). SLEP hardware upgrades include highly successful three-dimensional aerodynamic technology derived from the CFM56 commercial engine family plus upgrades to the combustor and high-pressure turbine. The enhancements can help provide up to a 25 percent improvement in cost-per-flying hour, a 50 percent increase in engine cycle life, and a threefold increase in average time-on-wing.



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