General Electric will be the sole provider of engines for the F-15EX Eagle II under a new, $1.58 billion contract with the Air Force.
Under the firm-fixed-price contract the Air Force announced Friday, the company will supply 29 F110-GE-129 engines for the production of 12 Boeing F-15EXs. Those 29 engines include installs and spares, the Air Force said.
If all seven options are exercised, GE could provide 329 engines in all, the Air Force said. The final delivery would occur in 2031, and the engine deliveries would help produce 136 F-15EXs.
“The United States Air Force is proud to partner with General Electric as our engine manufacturer that will power America’s newest, advanced F-15 aircraft,” Brig. Gen. Dale White, the program executive officer for fighters and advanced aircraft at the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, said in the service’s release. “Not only will it reduce sustainment costs and drive down risk as it replaces our aging F-15C/D fleet, it will also deliver new capabilities that complement the existing and future [tactical air] portfolio.”
GE beat Pratt & Whitney in the competitive source selection process. Pratt & Whitney offered its F-100-PW-229 engine for the new fighter jet.
Pratt & Whitney said it was disappointed the Air Force had not selected its F100 engine.
“We believe that we offered the most trusted, proven engine with the overall best value to the USAF for the F-15EX propulsion competition, which would deliver high performance, reliability and mission readiness for its F-15EX fleet,” Pratt & Whitney said in an emailed statement.
The first two F-15EXs, which already use the F110 engine, arrived at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida in March and April. They are now undergoing a variety of tests, including a week of operational testing at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada earlier this month.
The Pentagon said the work will be done in Cincinnati, Ohio, and San Antonio, Texas.
GE said in its release it has delivered more than 3,400 F110 engines worldwide and that they have flown more than 10.5 million hours. The F110 is also in many of the Air Force’s F-16s.
“We are honored to help the U.S. Air Force open a new chapter by providing reliable F110 power for the F-15EX,” Shawn Warren, vice president and general manager of combat and trainer engines for GE, said in a company release. “The F110 production line is active today and ready to deliver on the U.S. Air Force’s urgent and compelling requirement for an F-15EX propulsion system.”
Stephen Losey is the air warfare reporter for Defense News. He previously covered leadership and personnel issues at Air Force Times, and the Pentagon, special operations and air warfare at Military.com. He has traveled to the Middle East to cover U.S. Air Force operations.