Honeywell's International Turbine Engine (ITEC) has been selected to deliver more than 100 F124-GA-200 high-performance turbofan engines for United Arab Emirates' fleet of Alenia Aermacchi M-346 Master advanced jet trainers.
The F124/125 family of engines provides 6,280lb of thrust (28kN) while weighing just 1,150lb (520kg) - the highest thrust-to-weight ratio in its class - and powers more than 400 fixed-wing training, light combat and unmanned aircraft around the world, says Honeywell.
"The F124/F125 engine family, proven with more than 540,000 flight hours, delivers increased pilot safety and reduced workload," said Garrett Mikita, president of defence and space, Honeywell Aerospace. "The United Arab Emirates' and Alenia Aermacchi's selection of the F124 demonstrates the value the engine brings to training programmes, delivering reliability that lowers operating costs and improves fleet readiness."
The F124-200 that is being used on the UAE M-346 includes several features designed to ease maintenance, including an integrated engine monitoring system that monitors engine health and tracks life usage and on-condition maintenance, adds Mikita.
"It includes all controls and sensors required for fully automatic operation and unrestricted throttle movement throughout the flight envelope. Pilot workload is significantly reduced through features such as automatic start and ignition sequencing, continuous temperature and speed limiting, auto relight after flameout, and transient fuel scheduling to avoid engine surge," says the company.
The UAE ordered 48 M-346s in February for its advanced jet trainers for its advanced lead-in fighter trainer requirement. It will also buy an undisclosed number in the light attack configuration, which is still being developed by the Aermacchi.
In addition to the M-346, Honeywell's F-124/125 family of engines also power Taiwan's AIDC F-CK-1 Indigenous Defence Fighter and the Czech air force's Aero Vodochody L-159. An aftermarket version of the F124, the F125 IN, is in the running for the Indian air force's Jaguar re-engine programme.