Turkish Air Force Selects F110-powered F-16s and Becomes First International Customer of F110 Service Life Extension Program
(Source: GE Aviation; issued July 16, 2007)
EVENDALE, OH --- The Turkish Air Force (TuAF) has ordered F110-GE-129B engines to power its 30 new Lockheed Martin F-16E/F aircraft and concurrently announced plans to become the first international customer for the F110 Service Life Extension Program (SLEP).
[*******"Red"]With this order, the TuAF fleet grows to approximately 200 aircraft and becomes the second largest F110/F-16 operator behind the United States Air Force (USAF).
"The SLEP program has been a tremendous benefit to the customer by deploying proven commercial technologies into the military fleet for lower cost of ownership," said Al DiLibero, general manager of the Evendale Turfoban/Turbojet Department.
SLEP hardware upgrades include the core of the successful CFM56-7 commercial engine (which powers the Boeing Next-Generation 737s), three-dimensional aerodynamic technology, and a redesigned flowpath. These upgrades help deliver significant time-on-wing increases, a 25% improvement in cost-per-flying-hour and elimination of special inspections.
The U.S. Government has awarded GE contracts totaling $220 million to upgrade more than 340 F110 engines for F-16C/D aircraft as part of its SLEP effort and estimates a potential savings of more than $1 billion over the life of the program. Other countries currently expressing interest in the F110 SLEP configuration include Bahrain, Israel and Japan.
"We are delighted that a longstanding customer such as Turkey is the first international customer to select the SLEP upgrade,"
said F110 sales manager Jeff Reno. "Innovative service solutions are becoming increasingly important as militaries balance the merits of maximizing existing assets versus buying new aircraft."
Based on enthusiastic reception, SLEP concepts are also being identified for the F101 for the B-1B and the F118 for B-2 and U-2S aircraft.
Earmarked for close to 400 engines, the F101 engine is undergoing initial evaluation in Evendale and is scheduled for testing at Arnold Engineering Development Center in Tullahoma, Tennessee later this year. "High pressure turbine blade temperatures have dropped 60 degrees, which will significantly improve the reliability of the hot-section hardware," said DiLibero.
A SLEP package for the B-2 has also been qualified. Like the F101, the kit is virtually "piece-part identical" to the F110, although unique hardware has been developed as required.
GE Aviation, an operating unit of General Electric Company, is a world-leading provider of commercial and military jet engines and components as well as integrated digital, electric power, and mechanical systems for aircraft. GE Aviation also has a global service network to support these offerings.