SMITHS Aerospace, part of the global technology business Smiths Group, has entered into a Risk and Revenue Sharing programme with GE Aviation with a potential sales value of more than $60 million over its lifetime.
The programme involves five F404 components that are manufactured at the Smiths Aerospace Components facility in Asheville, North Carolina. Under the programme, Smiths will produce these parts for all new and spare engines. Deliveries will continue through 2023.
Peter Wright, President, Smiths Aerospace Components, said: Smiths has proven technical capability and strong customer relations with GE Aviation. This Risk and Revenue Sharing programme represents a unique opportunity for Smiths to extend our participation on the F404 for the life of the programme. We anticipate that the F404 will have decades of use in powering the F/A-18s.
The performance and reliability of F404 engines have set the standard for modern fighter engines. The engine family powers multiple aircraft performing a broad spectrum of missions from low-level attack to high-altitude interceptors.
In addition to powering the US Navys fleet of F/A-18 A/B/C/D carrier-capable aircraft, the F404 is on other international aircraft such as the Swedish Gripen and Korean T50 trainer.
Some 3,700 of F-404-GE-400 engine family have been built. The US Navy inventory for the F404 is currently at more than 1,300 engines.