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Egypt to SLEP F-16 engines

17 June 2016
F-16 Block 52 fighters that were delivered to Egypt on 30-31 July 2015. The country is to begin extending the engine-lives of earlier aircraft it received under a USD26.9 million contract announced on 16 June. Source: Egyptian MoD

Egypt is moving ahead with a service-life extension programme (SLEP) on the engines of a number of its Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon combat aircraft, according to a US Department of Defense (DoD) contract notification.

The DoD contract, issued on 16 June, covers a SLEP on the F-16s General Electric (GE) F110-GE-100 power plant in particular, with GE to provide 12 SLEP kits composed of 18 individual kits that support the engines. The contract is valued at USD26.9 million, and will run through to 30 September.

The contract award follows a request issued to the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) in late 2009, in which Egypt asked for a SLEP to 156 engines, as well as associated parts, equipment, training and logistical support in a deal valued at about USD750 million. The upgrades would be spread out over a six- to seven-year period, with approximately 24 engines being worked on each year.

That original request was likely delayed due to frosty diplomatic relations between the US and Egypt that followed the military coup that ousted the democratically elected government of Mohammed Morsi in 2013. Relations were subsequently restored, and the flow of military equipment and support was resumed in 2015.

Egypt received more than 200 F-16A-Ds under the 'Peace Vector' programme that was commenced in 1982. A further batch of 20 F-16C/Ds was ordered in 2013, and began arriving in-country in the same year.

Although the SLEP contract is related to a relatively small number of engines in this instance, it is likely that follow-on contracts will be awarded at later dates. It is also likely that at least a number of the Egyptian Air Force's approximately 210 F-16A-D platforms will receive additional upgrades under a wider SLEP effort to sustain them in service through to beyond 2020. Such enhancements might include an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, a digital 'glass' cockpit, upgraded defensive aids, datalink enhancements, and the like.

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