March 13, 2000 (by Lieven Dewitte) - General Electric Co. said the air force of the United Arab Emirates had selected its F110 fighter engine to power its new fleet of 80 F-16 fighter jets, in a deal worth $400 million to GE.
selected the F110-GE
-132 engine, a higher-thrust derivative of the F110 fighter engine family. GE was competing with Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies Corp., for the contract.
Deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2002. Deliveries of the F-16s to the UAE by Lockheed are set to begin in late 2004.
The F110-GE-132 engine development work is more than 50 percent complete, including extensive aero-mechanical ground testing. Altitude testing will begin later this year, and flight testing and full engine qualification are slated for 2002.
Derived from the highly successful F110-GE-100 and F110-GE-129 engines powering F-16s worldwide, 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 percent. The -132 draws from GEAE's extensive 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.
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.
The UAE decision further enhances the F110's worldwide presence. The F110 has won more than 80 percent of the engine orders for F-16C/D aircraft. GE's F110 customers include the U.S. Air Force and five international customers for F-16C/Ds, as well as Japan for its single-engine F-2 support fighter. The F110 maintains the best safety and reliability record on F-16C/Ds worldwide and powers 85 percent of the USAF F-16 front-line fighters, including 100 percent of the USAF F-16s involved in recent missions in Kosovo.