General Electric Aviation of Cincinnati, OH received a $50.5 million contract modification which will provide newly redesigned High Pressure Compressor and High Pressure Turbine assemblies, newly redesigned Aging Engine Upgrade Components, initial provisioning spares, and new technical data to support the F110-GE-100/-129 jet engines’ Service Life Extension Plan (SLEP) and Aging Engine Upgrade initiatives. At this time, the entire amount has been committed by the 448th SCMG/PKBC at Tinker Air Force Base, OK.
The F110-GE-100 engine flies in USAF F-16C/D Block 30 and Block 40 aircraft. The F110-GE-129 engine, which first entered service in 1992, equips F-16 Block 50 aircraft, which is the most recent USAF production version. Although Pratt & Whitney’s F100 was the initial engine for all F-16s, its maintenance and performance problems escalated to the point that the USAF began buying the newly-developed GE F110 engine instead, which featured more reliability and higher thrust. It also required a larger air inlet, hence the “bigmouth” F-16 designs from Block 30/32 onward. The resulting competition has spurred both manufacturers to improve their products over the years, and Pratt & Whitney’s F100-PW-229 has scored a number of recent wins among international F-16 customers, but most serving USAF F-16s fly with GE’s F110 engine.
As the 2005 contract date implies, this award is just one of a long series. The F110 SLEP upgrade uses technology from the CFM56-7 commercial engine core in use by modern 737s, 3D aero technology, and a redesigned flow path with changes to the combustor and high-pressure turbine. GE believes these changes provide up to a 25% improvement in cost-per-flying-hour, a significant time-on-wing increase, and elimination of special inspections, and estimates the potential life-long savings at approximately $1 billion for 800 F110 engines (FA8104-05-C-0053, PO0018).
On Sept 30/10, the US DSCA announced [PDF] Spain’s formal request to buy 6 refurbished SH-60F Seahawk helicopters listed as “Excess Defense Articles” by the US Navy. The refurbished helicopters would include the required inspections and modifications, 13 T700-GE-401C engines (12 installed and 1 spare), and other forms of U.S. Government and contractor support. The estimated cost is $155 million, and engine maker General Electric in Lynn, MA would be the prime contractor if a contract is signed, though SH-60F manufacturer Sikorsky will certainly be involved.
While the DSCA says that Spain already has 12 SH-60s in its inventory, it doesn’t mention an important point: they’re SH-60Bs. In the US Navy’s division of labor, the SH-60F traditionally handles the advanced dipping sonar, and performs utility and rescue tasks, while the SH-60B uses its radar for wider anti-submarine sweeps, and is armed with a wider array of weapons beyond torpedoes and door guns. That division of labor is being erased by the MH-60R, which can handle all surface attack and anti-submarine roles by itself. Its MH-60S counterpart will have a wide variety of available weapons and fittings, for roles from combat search and rescue, to surface attack, and even counter-mine roles. Spain evidently looked at its options, and decided to pursue refurbished machines, rather than buying new.
Implementation of this proposed sale will require 2 contractor representatives in Spain for familiarization training for a period of 2 years. U.S. Government and contractor representatives will also be required to participate in program management and technical reviews, training, and maintenance support for 1 week intervals, semi-annually, for a period of 3 years. See also Flight International.
On July 2/10, the US DSCA announced [PDF] Tunisia’s formal request to buy 12 refurbished US Navy SH-60F Seahawk utility Helicopters, plus associated equipment. The SH-60Fs would be offered as Excess Defense Articles (grant EDA notification is being submitted separately). In the US Navy, the SH-60F is a utility and search and rescue helicopter, with secondary submarine hunter capabilities via its dipping sonar and sonobuoys. This distinguishes it from its SH-60B Seahawk/LAMPS counterpart, which adds a maritime radar and surface attack capabilities.
Tunisia is expected to use the helicopters for border/sea surveillance, search and rescue, and utility duties. The country sits between Libya and Algeria on the southern Mediterranean coast, right across from Italy, so naval helicopters are very useful to them. Its air force currently flies some old H-3/S-61 Sea Kings, so even used SH-60Fs would represent a frugal upgrade. The recent fall of Tunisia’s government has placed this deal in doubt…
GE, United Technologies win Phase II contracts. (July 6/10)
It might not be a Vulcan mind-meld, but it’s pretty close. The Department of Defense’s technology brain trust, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), has given 4 contractors the go-ahead to develop the advanced Vulcan combination engine system for hypersonic flight.
The Vulcan engine will integrate a traditional jet turbine engine that performs well at low speeds, with a constant volume combustion (CVC) engine that performs well at higher speeds. The combination will help the vehicles go from standing starts to Mach 4 or so, where hypersonic engines can take over. DARPA’s ultimate goal is to design, build, and fly Mach 6+ re-usable, air-breathing, turbine-based hypersonic vehicles.
What current engines will the Vulcan program modify? What are the program’s goals? What is its structure? DID has answers…
General Electric Engine Services in Cincinnati, OH received a $9.2 million firm-fixed-price contract for the overhaul and upgrade of 20 T700-GE-701C turbine engines to the T700-GE-701D configuration applicable to the UH-60 Blackhawk and AH-64 Apache helicopters.
The US Army’s program to upgrade its fleet of UH-60A and UH-60L Black Hawk helicopters to the UH-60M configuration includes upgrading the aircraft’s T700-GE-700 engines using GE kits to the T700-GE-701D configuration…
United Technologies Corp. in San Antonio, TX received a $65.1 million contract to provide modules to be remanufactured at the contract facility, such as, core modules, fan drive turbines, inlet fans, and gearboxes, for the Pratt & Whitney F100 engine supporting F-15/F-16 fighter aircraft. Pratt & Whitney is a UTC subsidiary.
The F100 powers all of the USAF F-15s and a majority of the world fleet of F-16s.
With more than 6,900 engines produced and over 16 million flight hours, the F100 is one of the most reliable fighter engine in the world. Propulsion of the F-15 is supplied by 2 Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-100 or -220 afterburning turbofan engines. The Navy uses the F100-PW-220 engine in its F-16s…
Air BP in Warrenville, IL won a maximum $124.8 million fixed-price with economic price adjustment, indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract for aviation turbine fuel.
Aviation turbine fuel is used for powering jet and turbo-prop engined aircraft. There are currently two main grades of turbine fuel in use in civil commercial aviation: Jet A-1 and Jet A, both are kerosene type fuels. There is another grade of jet fuel, Jet B, which is a wide cut kerosene (a blend of gasoline and kerosene).
The military equivalent of Jet A-1 and Jet A fuel is JP-8, which also includes corrosion inhibitors and anti-icing additives. The military equivalent of Jet B is JP-4, with the same additions as JP-8…
On Nov 14/06, a US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notice hinted that Saudi Arabia was about to become the first F-15 operator to switch its Pratt & Whitney F100 jet engines for General Electric’s F110, as part of a wider-ranging upgrade program for Saudi Arabia’s multi-role air superiority and strike fighters.
There’s often a long delay between the DSCA announcement and a contract, let alone delivery. Saudi Arabia’s F-15S variant did become the first fleet to perform a re-engining switch, however, and other upgrades are also underway.
General Electric Aircraft Engines business group in Lynn, MA received a $326 million modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N00019-06-C-0088), exercising an option for 80 F-414-GE-400 engines and modules and 2 spare engines for the US Navy.