The General Electric engine is the only one certified for the F-15Q, which the F-15EX is based, and competition was waived on this batch in order to expedite testing of the F-15EX.
On Jun. 30, 2020 a notice from the Pentagon announced that General Electric received a $101.4 million contract for the first batch of engines to power the F-15EX fighter jet being acquired by the US Air Force (USAF).
‘General Electric Co., Cincinnati, Ohio, has been awarded $101,345,500 for an undefinitized contract action under a new firm-fixed-price contract for F-15EX Lot One engine production. This action provides for the purchase and delivery of F110-GE-129 engines, including installs and spares and modernized engine monitoring system computers. Work will be performed in Cincinnati, Ohio, and is expected to be completed Nov. 30, 2022. This award is the result of an unusual and compelling urgency acquisition,’ the notice reads.
USAF didn’t specify how many engines are being acquired in the action. According to Air Force Magazine, the GE engine is the only one certified for the F-15QA, which the F-15EX is based, and competition was waived on this batch in order to expedite testing of the F-15EX.
Noteworthy the Air Force dropped its plan to use the GE engine exclusively in March after in February Pratt & Whitney protested an early decision to just buy the F110 powerplant for the whole F-15EX fleet. As a result, the service said in May that subsequent buys of F-15EX engines will be open to competition.
Pratt is planning to offer its F100-229 engine, but would have to certify the engine for the “Advanced F-15” at its own cost. The Air Force said testing can take place “concurrently” with production.
No obstacles are seen to integration of the Pratt engine. The company noted it is the “exclusive propulsion system for USAF’s entire fleet of operational F-15s.”
The service will need up to 461 new engines to power as many as 144 F-15EX fighters and wants up to six completed engines to be delivered per month, with the first deliveries in 2023.
In support of the National Defense Strategy, the USAF must purchase an additional 24 combat aircraft per year.
Boeing’s F-15EX is the most cost-effective, ready, advanced solution to meet the Air Force capacity requirements and add capability to the fleet. Driven by Boeing’s active production line, the next-generation jet enables pilots and mechanics to transition in a matter of days as opposed to years while delivering unmatched total life cycle costs.
Photo credit: Boeing