GE Gets Contract for First Batch of F-15EX Engines

General Electric received a $101.4 million contract for the first batch of engines to power the F-15EX fighter being acquired by the Air Force, according to a June 30 notice from the Pentagon.

The sole-source contract buys and installs F110-GE-129s plus spares, but USAF didn’t specify how many engines are being acquired in the action. The engines are to be delivered by Nov. 30, 2022.

This first batch of F-15EX engines is being procured sole-source because of “an unusual and compelling urgency acquisition,” according to the announcement. The GE 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.

Subsequent buys of F-15EX engines, however, will be open to competition, the Air Force said in May. In February, Pratt & Whitney—now part of Raytheon Technologies—protested an early decision to just buy the F110 powerplant for the whole F-15EX fleet, and the Air Force in March dropped its plan to use the GE engine exclusively.

The service will need up to 461 new engines to power as many as 144 F-15EX fighters. 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 wants up to six competed engines to be delivered per month, with the first deliveries in 2023.