Air strikes in Syria. Bombings in Brussels. Tension in the South China Sea.
We have all seen it on the news. Our world continues to be a challenging environment and the international defense community is more focused than ever on increasing its capabilities.
GE Aviation is one of the largest military engine manufacturers in the world—we have more than 26,000 engines in service to date. Our customers are looking to us to provide them with better solutions as they address their defense needs. So how is Military Systems doing that?
- We are part of GE’s transformation into a digital industrial company.
Military Systems has been working with our customers to find innovative Digital solutions that improve operations of their military aircraft and commercial helicopter engine fleets. Here is just one example: Aa few years ago, we partnered with the US Air Force to remotely monitor the performance of the CFM56-2 engines in the KC-135R tanker using our analytics models. Our findings resulted in increased time on wing, which saves the Air Force money in shop visit costs.
- We are incorporating commercial technology into military upgrades and new products.
Our customers don’t always need to buy a new engine to receive the capabilities they require. By using commercial technology to upgrade existing engines, it often results in reduced shop visits and more time in the air. A great example is the Service Life Extension Program (SLEP) for our F101 engine powering the B-1 Bomber. The US Air Force has begun incorporating this upgrade which has its roots in CFM56-7 core technology. What a terrific way to bring the benefits of technology full circle for this F101 engine that “started it all” for the CFM family!
- We are implementing scalable technologies for the future.
Our new programs have hit big milestones this year! The T408 (formerly known as the GE38) recently achieved qualification status paving the way for low rate initial production for the US Marine Corps CH-53K helicopter. And on June 30 we signed a contract with the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center for the Adaptive Engine Transition Program (AETP)—to continue to advance our adaptive cycle engine program to provide significantly better fuel efficiency, range, thrust and thermal management for future combat aircraft.
GE Aviation is rapidly working towards a digitally-focused mindset for the benefit of our customers—and Military Systems is on that track, too. This is just a small snapshot of what we have been working on for our customers—and there are plenty more success stories to come!
-Jean Lydon-Rodgers, President and CEO, Military Systems Operation