US Navy seeks fuel-saving upgrade for Super Hornet engines

By Stephen Trimble

The US Navy plans to task General Electric Aircraft Engines with reducing the specific fuel consumption for the propulsion system powering its Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fleet.

The Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) on 23 March announced plans to award the contract to GE, designating its F414-GE-400 engine for the demonstration programme.

The NAVAIR acquisition notice does not detail the amount of specific fuel consumption reduction expected through the work. But the contractor must build a single engine to demonstrate the fuel-saving technologies, quantify the amount of fuel savings both individually and in combination, and provide a plant to incorporate the new technologies across the fleet, it says.

Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class James Evans US Navy
© Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class James Evans US Navy

NAVAIR has also asked GE to estimate the cost of incorporating the fuel-saving technologies “in the shortest amount of time”.

The USN has an active fleet of 341 Super Hornets, plus eight EA-18G Growler electronic-attack aircraft, according to Flight’s MiliCAS database.