The US Navy has shown a revived interest in upgrading the Super Hornet engine that is used to power Boeing F/A-18E/F, EA-18G along with two other foreign fighters. Earlier last month the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) reached out to GE Aviation asking for a proposal contract for the company’s engineers in order to perform studies on an “F414-GE-400 core enhancement evaluation”.
GE revealed in a statement to FlightGlobal that NAVAIR expressed interest in GE evaluating the latest engine technologies that could be applied to the F414 Enhanced Engine. This is a revival of the efforts put forth by GE and NAVAIR years ago as part of a proposal by Boeing’s Super Hornet bid for India’s fighter competition in which NAVAIR Ltd. paid GE to test the durability and thrust upgrades in laboratory rigs.
GE also evaluated the F414 Enhanced Engine under the expectation that funding for a development program would manifest in the next two years however the follow-on contract never did materialized. With “core enhancement” a central theme in the newest NAVAIR study, evidence suggests that the three modules in the core of the engine are the main focus of the Navy which includes the combustor, high-pressure turbine and high-pressure compressor. NAVAIR’s renewed interest in upgrading the Super Hornet comes on the heels of a remarkable turn-around for the Boeing production line and the program appears to be winding down after completing delivers to the USN.
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