The NATO airborne early warning force (NAEWF) is expected finally to release a request for proposals (RFP) in October to re-engine its Boeing E-3A Sentrys ahead of the introduction of Stage 3 noise restrictions in Europe.

The NAEWF operates 18 E-3As powered by Pratt & Whitney TF33-100 turbofans. The RFP is likely to draw responses from CFM International, offering the CFM56-2, and a newly formed Northrop Grumman-led consortium proposing the improved P&W JT8D-219.

Later E-3D/Fs in service with the UK and French air forces are powered by CFM56s. The NAEWF requirement is expected to be followed by USAF efforts to re-engine its planned eight E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System aircraft, 32 E-3s and remaining TF33-powered KC/RC/OC/EC-135 tankers and special operations aircraft.

Northrop Grumman's Integrated Systems and Aerostructures Sector has identified a potential 707 re-engining market worth $500 million. Its joint venture includes Pratt & Whitney Large Military Engines and San Antonio-based Seven Q Seven. Compared to the CFM56, "we offer a cheaper, lighter, off-the-shelf stage 3 compliant engine", says Seven Q Seven vice-president Des McEvaddy.

Source: Flight International