F108 / CFM56 Engine
The F110 is part of a family of engines that includes military-unique fighter and bomber engines maintained as DOD's turbine engine core. Engines in this family - also the F101, F108, and F118 engines - power the F-14, F-15, F-16, B-1, and B-2 aircraft.
Deep Look Forecasting predicts how many parts will be needed based on the level of maintenance each engine receives in the depot itself or in the field. ALC and GE focus on the GE family of engines including the F101, which powers the B-1 bomber; F108, which powers the KC-135R tanker; F110-100B and -129, which power the F-16 fighter; and F118, which powers the B-2 bomber.
The F101/F118 Common Digital Electronic Control (DEC) replace the augmentor fan temperature control and component integration test system on the F101-GE-102 Engine, and the engine monitoring system processor and engine fan temperature control on the F118-GE-100 Engine. The DECs are functional replacements that will be transparent to the aircraft. The DECs are required because the existing control boxes became unsupportable in 2002. The Air Force is the only user of the DECs and will acquire 561 units for use on the B-1 and B-2 aircraft. A summary study recommended that the depot repair for the F101-GE-102/F118-GE-100 Common Digital Electronic Control be assigned to the Air Force for repair by commercial sources. The joint Service decision was announced 17 December 2001.
Because essentially the same engineering and parts are also used in the F101 and F118 engines, the knowledge have gained in the development of the F110 Service Life Extension Program will be very transferable to other areas and engines.
According to General Electric officials, although some engine parts are not interchangeable within the group of engines, the repair processes are the same. Thus, the same types of equipment, such as vertical turret lathes, metal plasma machines, grinders, as well as the same artisan skills are used to repair all engines within the group. This commonality also gives the Air Force the flexibility to privatize the F108 workload while maintaining its core capability to repair the other military engines in the same family.
The process to get a military-peculiar part in the hands of the mechanic is a lengthy one. Almost three years can pass from the time the Item Manager starts the process to determine the requirement until the part arrives. Four major phases are involved in the process: requirements determination, purchase request processing, contract award, and production. Under a 1999 contract awarded by Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center (OCALC) to General Electric Aircraft Engines (GEAE) and General Electric Support Services (GESS), the second and third phases of this process were virtually eliminated, saving a year's worth of administrative leadtime. A number of other benefits, which translate to better customer support, were also expected.
The contract covered parts that are sole source to GEAE. It combined Air Force, Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), and Navy requirements for the F110 engine family (F101, F108, F110, and F118). Covering a 10-year period, it is a "Corporate Contract" that is estimated at about $2 billion. The contract builds on a prior long-term contract between OC-ALC and GE. The plan implements Quarterly Requirements Reviews between all parties, for GE to "risk release" parts to production, and for the government to delay issuing its orders for spare parts until the end of production.
During the Quarterly Requirements Reviews, all parties come together and project DoD's requirements. GE takes the identified requirements and commences production. Ninety days prior to completion of production, DoD makes a decision to buy or not to buy specific parts. If the decision is to buy, an order is issued and the part delivered within 90 days. If the decision is not to buy, GEAE transfers the item to GESS for storage and resale to any potential customer; the government is not obligated to buy the parts.
This contract represents a significant change, moving the traditional ordering point from "leadtime-away," closer to "just-in-time." Working through the details of this change has been the task of the OC-ALC Contracting and Item Management Team. The contract should go a long way toward resembling a commercial logistics situation.
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