Pratt & Whitney is pushing its further improved F100-229 Increased Performance Engine (IPE) (Plus) to Asian air forces as an upgrade option for the Lockheed Martin F-16C/D, with Singapore and South Korea likely candidates for the upgrade.

The engine, which has also been designated as the -229A, is being offered as either a retrofit for existing F-16C/D Block 52 aircraft, or for new-build fighters. P&W is understood have already proposed the F100 IPE (Plus) to Singapore and, possibly, South Korea.

Singapore has ordered 18 F-16C/Ds for delivery from 1998 and holds a purchase option on a further 12 aircraft recently leased from Lockheed Martin. South Korea is the region's largest F-16C/D operator with 120 Block 52 aircraft on order, most of which are being licence-built by Samsung.

The engine being offered incorporates new technology originally developed for the P&W F119 powerplant planned for the Lockheed Martin/Boeing F-22. The F100 IPE (Plus) has a new increased airflow fan, incorporating a bladed-disk design and aerodynamically refined, friction- welded blades.

According to P&W, the bigger fan provides for an increase in maximum augmented thrust from 130kN (29,000lb) to 153kN, without any decrease to the engine's 4,000-cycle lifetime. Alternatively, for an engine maintained at its original thrust rating, the new fan can be used to extend the F100's life by an additional 2,000 cycles.

The engine has been demonstrated at thrusts up to 165kN, but at the expense of a much shorter lifetime. P&W claims that the larger fan also produces a 48 degrees C reduction in turbine-inlet temperature and has fewer parts, resulting in lower engine maintenance costs.

P&W says that the F100 IPE (Plus) can be offered as a standalone item or as part of wider range of improvements.

Other options being promoted include the axisymmetric thrust-vectoring nozzle and new bleed-air holes to reduce aft-flap temperature and infra-red signature.

Source: Flight International