Egypt Extending F-16 Engine Lives

23 June 2016

General Electric has been awarded a contract to extend the service lives of Egyptian F-16 engines.

The US Department of Defence on 16 June announced a contract with General Electric worth $26.9 million for 12 service-life extension programme (SLEP) kits for F110-GE-100 engines. The 12 SLEP kits comprise 18 individual kits that support the engines. The contract will run through to 30 September.

Egypt received over 200 F-16A-Ds from the United States from the early 1980s as part of the Peace Vector programme and another 20 F-16C/Ds were ordered in 2013, with deliveries recently concluding.

In December 2009 the United States announced a possible sale to Egypt of SLEP kits for 156 F-110-GE-100 engines in a contract worth approximately $750 million. The contract was to have been spread out over six to seven years in increments of approximately 24 engines being upgraded each year.

However, this contract appears to have not come about due to the suspension of military assistance to Egypt after the military removed democratically elected leader Mohammed Morsi in 2013. After military assistance was resumed last year, Egypt has received F-16s, M1 Abrams tank kits, Harpoon anti-ship missiles, AH-64 Apache attack helicopters and mine-resistant, ambush protected (MRAP) vehicles.

It is expected that further SLEP contracts will be forthcoming for Egypt, along with other possible upgrades.

Is it possible to convert their Huge number of F-16 A's to the latest F-16 E Block 60 variant?

More relevant to South Africa, there is a service life extension program for the F-404 as well which replaces the engine core, introduces 3D aero technology which basically implies that Computational Fluid Dynamics was used in the design, this means that 3D Aero has also allowed designers to increase the stage loading in compressors, which means higher pressure ratios and/or less stages. Which is a positive.

I think a redesigned flowpath with changes to the combustor and high-pressure turbine is also included.

The enhancements can help provide up to a multiple of 3 time-on-wing increase, significant decreases in cost-per-flying-hour, elimination of special inspections, and safety benefits.

I know the SAAF and SANDF have a number of funding issues at the moment but it makes sense to approach General Electric about this. Approaching Volvo makes little sense since they do not offer these packages.

What would be great is if the CSIR, Denel, Paramount and other aeronautical and engine specialist defence companies paired up with perhaps Aeronautical and Mechanical Engineering faculties at various universities could get their hands on one or two Engine test beds for the F-404/RM-12 so that it can start investigating component manufacture or upgrades similar to what we did with the Snecma Atar 9K50C.


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