Rhino Feed: $1B Gets 784 GE F414 Engines

DOD Contracts posted this the other day:

General Electric, Lynn, Massachusetts, is awarded a not-to-exceed $1,085,106,892 indefinite-delivery, performance-based logistics requirements contract for repair, replacement, and program support of 784 F414 engine components in support of F/A-18 aircraft. This contract includes a five-year base with no options. Work will be performed in various continental U.S. contractor locations that cannot be determined at this time (99%), and in Jacksonville, Florida (1%). Work is expected to be completed by October 2027. Working capital (Navy) funds in the amount of $81,383,017 will initially be issued for delivery order N00383-23-F-0DM0 as an undefinitized contract action at time of award, and funds will not expire at the end of the fiscal year. Individual delivery orders will be subsequently funded with appropriate fiscal year appropriations at the time of their issuance. One company was solicited for this non-competitive requirement pursuant to the authority set forth in 10 U.S. Code 2304 (c)(1), with one offer received. Naval Supply Systems Command Weapon Systems Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is the contracting activity (N00383-23-D-DM01).

The General Electric F414, which had its first run in 1993, is an afterburning turbofan engine in the 22,000-pounds-of-thrust range (in afterburn, “just” 13,000 lbf without) that was developed from the old F412 non-afterburning turbofan planned for the Cold War A-12 Avenger II, the A-6E Intruder replacement that was never ordered.

Some 2,400 pounds (dry weight) it is just under 13 feet long and was planned first to be the engine on the navalized F-117 Nighthawk (that also was never ordered) then twin-packed on the downright chunky F-18 Super Hornet.

For reference, the smaller F-18C/D was powered by two 11,000 lbf thrust F404-GE-402s (which the F412, in turn, was based on!) giving you an idea of just how much more powerful the Rhino engines are. Of course, the maximum take-off weight of the F-18C is around 50,000 lbs while the F-18E runs over 65,000, so the extra thrust is both needed and appreciated.

In all, over 5,600 F404/F414 engines have been built, and a combined 18 million engine flight hours run through them, with the 1,600 F414s delivered since 1999 accounting for about 5 million of those hours. It is expected the influx of new and rebuilt engines will give the Navy/Marines’ 777-aircraft F-18/EA-18 program a stockpile of engines for about the next 25 years– in peacetime op tempos.

Besides the Rhino and Growler, the F414 powers some types that you may not be familiar with:

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