Graham Warwick/ATLANTA

McDONNELL DOUGLAS (MDC) has selected the International Turbine Engines (ITEC) F124 as the primary engine in its bid to sell the T-45 Goshawk trainer to Australia. The T-45's existing Rolls-Royce Turbomeca Adour 871 turbofan will be offered as an option in MDC's proposal to meet the Royal Australian Air Force requirement for a lead-in fighter trainer.

ITEC, a joint venture between AlliedSignal Engines and Taiwan's AIDC, tried unsuccessfully to oust the Adour from US Navy T-45s in 1994, after congressional pressure.

The Navy preferred to stay with the Adour, but a successful Australian bid may re-open the issue.

Subsequently, the F124 was selected to power the Czech Republic's Aero L-159 light combat-aircraft. The F124 is a non-after-burning version of the F125 engine powering Taiwan's AIDC A-1 Ching Kuo indigenous defence fighter.

AlliedSignal claims that the 28kN (6,300lb)-thrust F124 offers greater performance and lower life-cycle cost than the Adour, with 10% more thrust and increased durability and reliability. AlliedSignal and MDC will cover the cost of qualifying the engine on the T-45, with the Navy willing to act as the certifying authority, the engine manufacturer says.

Qualification of the F124 for the L-159 is under way, and a flight test engine will be shipped this year. ITEC anticipates a production order at the end of 1996, with deliveries beginning in late 1997 or early 1998, about the time engines would be required for the T-45. AlliedSignal says that T-45 engines would be assembled in Australia.

MDC is competing against Aermacchi, with the MB.339FD, and British Aerospace, with the Hawk (on which the Goshawk is based). Bids are due in mid-March and selection is due in late 1996.

Source: Flight International