US Air Force F-15EX Eagle II
US Air Force F-15EX Eagle II

General Electric Awarded $1,5 Billion Contract for F-15EX Lots 2+ Propulsion System Procurement

General Electric Co., GE Edison Works, Cincinnati, Ohio, has been awarded a $1,579,662,187 firm-fixed-price contract including all options for the F-15EX Lots 2+ propulsion system procurement. This contract provides for 29 F110-GE-129 engines (installs and spares) for the F-15EX fleet. The contract also provides seven option lots for a most probable quantity of 329 total engines if all options are exercised. Work will be performed in Cincinnati, Ohio; and San Antonio, Texas, and is expected to be completed by June 30, 2031. This award is the result of a competitive source selection in which two offers were received. Fiscal 2021 aircraft procurement funds in the amount of $136,564,318 will be obligated at the time of award. U.S. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity.

In 2018, the U.S. Air Force and Boeing discussed a proposed F-15X, a single-seat variant based on the F-15QA intended to replace the U.S. Air Force’s F-15C/Ds. Improvements includes the AMBER weapons rack to carry up to 22 air-to-air missiles, infrared search and track, advanced avionics and electronics warfare equipment, AESA radar, and revised structure with a service life of 20,000 hours. The USAF opted for the F-15EX to maintain fighter numbers after the premature termination of F-22 production, its aging F-15C fleet, and F-35 delays. In July 2020, the U.S. Defense Department ordered eight fighters over three years for $1.2 billion. The Air Force announced plans to replace the aging F-15Cs in the Florida and Oregon Air National Guards with F-15EXs. On 7 April 2021, it was announced that the aircraft has been officially named Eagle II.

GE’s  F110-GE-129 engine
GE’s F110-GE-129 engine

The US Air Force (USAF) in June awarded Boeing a contract to produce a first batch of eight interceptors, without disclosing its engine selection. GE confirms that during the same month it received a Lot 1 contract from the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center to supply 19 F110-129s, plus modernised engine monitoring system computers. Due to enter squadron service from 2023, the F-15EX is intended to allow the USAF to rapidly re-equip squadrons currently flying aged F-15C/Ds. It intends to acquire up to 144 examples, but could eventually increase this to as many as 200.

The latest F-15EX uses the F110-GE-129 engines. GE Aviation has delivered its first F110-129 engines for integration with Boeing’s F-15EX fighter, ahead of the new model’s flight debut next year. Announcing the development on 16 September, GE said its relationship with Boeing on the project dates back to 2014, when the propulsion supplier “began investing resources and made a long-term commitment to become qualified on the F-15EX”. F110-GE-129 engines, with 29,400 lbf (131 kN) of thrust, power 40 F-15 fighters of South Korea. This is the first time production F-15s will be powered by a GE engine, since all previous F-15 models were powered by Pratt and Whitney. The GE engines will be manufactured through a joint licensing agreement with Samsung Techwin Company. It has also been chosen by the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) to power its F-15SG, and Saudi Arabia to power its F-15SA.

The Boeing F-15EX, the U.S. Air Force's newest fighter aircraft, arrives to Eglin Air Force Base, Florida March 11. (U.S. Air Force photo/Ilka Cole)
The Boeing F-15EX, the U.S. Air Force’s newest fighter aircraft, arrives to Eglin Air Force Base, Florida March 11. (U.S. Air Force photo/Ilka Cole)

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