The international defense industry fair (IDEF 13) held in Istanbul, Turkey, from May 7 to 10 saw the Turkish industry announce a number of developments. The most notable was the revelation of three potential concepts for the TF-X national combat aircraft program, a stealthy aircraft that is ultimately expected to replace the F-16.
General Electric F110
Saudi Arabia signed a $29.5 billion letter of offer and acceptance (LOA) for 84 new and 70 upgraded F-15 Strike Eagles last week. The deal, which took 18 months to conclude, is by far the biggest foreign military sale in U.S. history.
Citing “industry experts,” the State Department claimed that the agreement would support more than 50,000 jobs at 600 suppliers in 44 states. U.S. government officials said it would help ensure secure and stability in the Gulf region.
In the interest of diversifying its fuel supply, the U.S. Air Force has been testing and certifying engines to run on a mixture of conventional jet fuel and biofuels derived from plants. Last month, testing began on a GE F110 using a 50/50 blend of the two fuels at the Arnold Engineering Development Center at AFB in Tennessee.
The Royal Saudi Air Force has chosen General Electric (Stand C410) to re-engine its Boeing F-15S fighters with the F110 powerplant. Deliveries of 65 of the F110-GE-129C engines are to begin in 2008. Including logistical support, the contract is valued at more than $300 million.
Both China’s J-10 fighter and the Indian air force Bakhadur MiG-27ML fighter bomber are set to be re-engined with two new variations of the Russian Salyut AL-31FN engines–the AL-31FN M1 and the 99-3, respectively.