US engine manufacturer, Pratt & Whitney, has signed a 15-year F100 sustainment contract with the Israeli Ministry of Defense to support the country’s fleet of F-15I and F-16I aircraft. The agreement worth of $500 million.
This is now the longest-term, most comprehensive performance-based logistics contract for a Pratt & Whitney fighter engine to date, and embodies the latest advancements in FMP services available to Pratt & Whitney’s military customers.
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Starting Jan. 1, 2016, Pratt & Whitney will maintain the engines used in the Israel air force’s main combat planes, the F-16I, called Sufa (Storm) in Israel, and the F-15, called Ra’am (Thunder) in Israel, for 15 years. The agreement is slated to go into effect next January. The Ministry of Defense said that under the new agreement with Pratt & Whitney, engines in good repair would be guaranteed for the air force’s main combat planes in the coming years, including regular maintenance work on the engines, logistic prognostication, renovation and upgrading of the chasses, a rapid supply of spare parts, etc.
The two planes involved are the most advanced used by the air force. The F-16I is a single-engine plane made by Lockheed-Martin. Israel previously bought 100 F-16Is. The F-15I is a twin-engine plane made by Boeing. Both planes are equipped with Pratt & Whitney engines. The Ministry of Defense also said that it had been agreed that the US company would hire Israeli companies as subcontractors in the framework of the air force maintenance agreement. The companies involved are Bet Shemesh Engines Ltd., Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI), and Chromalloy Israel. The Ministry of Defense said today that these understandings would ensure a significant volume of business for Israeli industries in the coming years.
Under the new agreement, the US company will also ensure periodic upgrades of the engines to the most up-to-date configurations, while improving their safety and reliability. The defense establishment says that the agreement has potential for saving on air force personnel in logistical planning, supervision, management, and other areas, given the fact that the air force and the Ministry of Defense expect an increase in the prices of spare parts for these planes in the coming years.
The contract is also consistent with the Gideon multi-year plan recently formulated by the IDF, which provides for outsourcing some of the army’s activities in order to save on costs.
“The IAF and IMOD have enjoyed a decades-long relationship with Pratt & Whitney, over which time they have earned our confidence and trust, ” Aharon Marmarosh, Israel Mission to the United States director said of the contract. “Because of Pratt & Whitney’s expertise and track record of high-performance on our prior material management program, we felt confident in working with them on a full 15-year FMP program.”
The Israeli Air Force has operated Pratt & Whitney-powered aircraft for more than 65 years, commencing in 1947 with the Pratt & Whitney “Wasp” piston-engine-powered DC-3 Dakota aircraft and followed in succession by the J52-powered A-4, JT-3D-powered tankers, F100-powered F-15 / F-16 fighters, and PT-6-powered trainers.
The IAF is scheduled to receive its first Pratt & Whitney F135-powered F-35I Adir aircraft in December of 2016.