The work will be carried out by GE Aviation’s facility in Lynn, MA, and across GE’s US supply chain sites.
“We are pleased to receive this significant award and remain committed to extending the service life of today’s military assets,” said Al DiLibero, GE Aviation’s vice president and general manager of medium combat & trainer engines. “We’re very excited about supporting the U.S. Air Force and Navy with a reliable engine that has been flown by generations of pilots, proudly built by generations of GE employees.”
The DLA classifies the new contract as part of its Captains of Industry (COI) programme, which uses Supplier Capability Contracts to streamline the procurement process.
Since entering service in 1959, the J85 engine has reliably powered military aircraft including the T-38, F-5, T-2C, and A-37B, accumulating more than 75 million hours. More than 13,000 engines have been produced and the J85 operates in 28 countries.
The J85-powered T-38 is the USAF's primary pilot training aircraft. The single-shaft axial-flow turbojet engine with an 8-stage compressor section and 2-stage turbine gives the T-38A a top speed of Mach 1.3.
In 2001, the USAF awarded a $601 million contract for hardware kits to upgrade 1,202 J85 engines for the T-38. The upgraded kit, including a redesigned compressor rotor and stator assembly, an improved HPT, and new afterburner liner. The J85-powered T-38 is expected to remain in operational service until 2040 and beyond.