LYNN, Mass. -- Australia has announced its decision to procure 24 F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, powered by twin F414-GE-400 turbofan engines. Engine deliveries for this order will begin in 2009. The total value of the engine program, including support, is estimated at (US) $428 million. With this order, Australia becomes the first international customer for the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. The engine agreement includes plans for a two-year support package and a 10-year Performance Based Logistics (PBL) program.
Currently, the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) flies 71 F404-powered F/A-18A/B Hornets, which were delivered starting in 1984. Hornets continue to serve as a front-line aircraft for the RAAF, having flown more than 480,000 engine flight-hours. "We're pleased that Australia, a longstanding F404 customer, continues to demonstrate confidence in selecting a GE-powered aircraft," said Tony Mathis, GE's Turbofan/Turbojet Department General Manager. "We look forward to expanding our relationship to include the F414 engine."
Plans call for the first Super Hornets to be delivered to Australia in 2010, with a fully operational RAAF Super Hornet squadron to be based at Amberley in Queensland by 2012.
The F414 engine for the F/A-18E/F is rated at 22,000 pounds (98 kN) thrust and is in the 9:1 thrust-to-weight ratio class. The U.S. Navy has taken delivery of over 700 F414 engines with over 700,000 engine flight-hours accumulated to date.
The F414 is also a potential powerplant for growth versions of the Saab Gripen, India's Tejas Light Combat Aircraft, KAI/LMTAS A-50 light fighter (a derivative of the T-50 advanced trainer) and other combat aircraft under development. GE Aviation and the U.S. Navy also continue collaboration on an F414-based technology demonstrator program, paving the way for future upgrades to increase thrust and/or extend time on wing for significant life cycle cost benefits.
GE Aviation, an operating unit of General Electric Company, is one of the world's leading manufacturers of jet engines for civil and military aircraft. GE also is a global provider of maintenance and support services for operators of GE jet engines.