Engine Edge Did Not Help Boeing In Indian Fighter Bid

Aviation week

Boeing understands that the main reason for the elimination of the Super Hornet from India’s Medium Multi-role Combat Aircraft evaluation was a decision by Indian officials not to give the fighter credit for a more powerful engine offered by General Electric.

“That’s the customer’s prerogative,” Boeing Super Hornet Program Manager Mike Gibbons said in St. Louis on June 8 during the company’s pre-Paris air show media briefing tour.

Boeing and GE were offering an Enhanced Performance Engine (EPE) version of the F414, with a 25% thrust boost using an improved core demonstrated under a U.S. government-funded program, along with improved low-pressure components using proven technology. GE says that the EPE involved the same level of risk as 17 other engine programs that it had delivered successfully.

Without the new engine, the Super Hornet — heavier than the Typhoon or Rafale — could not compete on performance, which India weighted highly.

Meanwhile, Boeing says that the conformal fuel tanks (CFTs) included in the International Roadmap configuration, plus the EPE, deliver a big performance increase. The 3,200-lb.-capacity conformals cause zero net drag, the company says, because they reduce trim drag. As a result, a configuration with CFTs and a centerline tank delivers as much range as a three-tank configuration, and some weapon configurations can be cleared to supersonic speeds, which are not attainable with those stores today.

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Posted by pilotpaul on Jun 9 2011. Filed under All News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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