UAE F-16 Order Launches New GE Engine
Following a lengthy technical evaluation, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Air Force & Air Defense picked the GE F110 fighter engine to power its new fleet of 80 Lockheed Martin F-16 Block 60 aircraft - and has launched a new derivative F110 engine.
The engine contract to GE Aircraft Engines (GEAE) is valued at more than $400 million.
UAE selected the F110-GE-132 engine, a higher-thrust derivative of GEAE's F110 fighter engine family, the most popular engine for the world's F-16C/D aircraft. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2002. Derived from the F110-GE-100 and F110-GE-129 engines, the F110-GE-132 can produce 32,500 pounds of thrust or operate at 29,000 pounds (current thrust rating for Block 50 F-16s) and increase engine life up to 50%.
The -132 draws from GEAE's existing technology base, including: A long-chord, blisk fan derived from the F118 engine (B-2 bomber), a radial afterburner derived from the F120 engine (JSF) and F414 engine (F/A-18E/F), and a composite outer fan duct based on the F404/F414 engines.
The F110-GE-132 engine development work is more than half finished, including extensive aero-mechanical ground testing. Altitude testing will begin later this year. Flight testing and full engine qualification are slated for 2002.
GEAE says that in addition to powering the Block 60 F-16, the increased life option of -132 engine creates an attractive upgrade opportunity for existing Block 50 F-16 operators because the F110 can be installed in both F-16 configurations without aircraft structural or mount modifications.
The current F110-GE-129 can be converted to the -132 configuration by installing the upgraded blisk fan and afterburner hardware. Some background on the engine: The F110 has won more than 80% of the engine orders for F-16C/D aircraft. It powers 85% of the USAF F-16 front-line fighters, including 100% of the USAF F-16s involved in recent missions in Kosovo.
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