GE Aerospace today marks the 30th year since its F414 engine successfully completed its first run. With decades of experience under its belt and reputation of offering an outstanding performance, reliability, and versatility, the F414 is still firing on all cylinders.
Sharing its design with the revered F404 engine, the F414 stands on a foundation of more than 5,600 F404/F414 engines built, and a combined 18 million engine flight hours.
For decades, the United States Navy has relied on the power of the F414. Today, the engine continues to deliver for the most demanding combat missions for armed forces around the globe. The power behind the U.S Navy’s F-18 Super Hornet, the F414 has become the engine of choice for an increasing number of advanced, next-generation combat aircraft. Currently, eight nations have F414-powered aircraft in operation or on order.
Key to the F414 engine’s performance is its rapid engine throttle response and zero throttle restrictions. The engine is rated at 22,000 pounds (98 kN) thrust and is in the 9:1 thrust-to-weight ratio class.
“The F414 is a remarkable engine with proven operational and combat experience for the warfighter,” says Shawn Warren, vice president and general manager, Combat and Trainer Engines, Defense & Systems at GE Aerospace. “We are excited to celebrate another F414 milestone and would like to congratulate everyone involved in the engine’s success.”
The genesis of the F414 was a desire for an engine that would deliver increased range and operations capability for an upgraded F/A-18 in 1991. The F414 officially entered service in 1998, delivering 25 percent more thrust by combining the core of GE’s F412 engine with an enhanced low-pressure system.
Since then, GE Aerospace has delivered more than 1,600 F414 engines and the engine has surpassed five million flight hours.
The F414 across the globe:
GE Aerospace recently signed a historic Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Indian defense contractor Hindustan Aeronautics Limited to produce F414-GE-INS6 engines for the Indian Air Force.
Notably, the agreement includes the potential joint production of GE Aerospace’s F414-GE-INS6 engines in India, and GE Aerospace continues to work with the U.S. government to receive the necessary export authorization for such. The effort is part of the Indian Air Force’s Light Combat Aircraft Mk2 program.
Among other global expansions for the F414, GE delivered the first F414-GE-400K engine in May 2020 to Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd. The engine powers South Korea’s next-generation indigenous fighter, formally known as the KF-21 Boramae. Developed for the Republic of Korea Air Force, the F414-powered KF-21 will deliver significantly greater mission capability and longer lifespan compared to current aircraft.
Additionally, the F414 also powers the Boeing E/A-18 Growler along with the SAAB Gripen E/F, which saw its first deliveries to the Brazilian Air Force in 2021.
Meanwhile, back in the States, NASA took delivery of the first F414-GE-100 engine in 2020 for its X-59 QueSST plane. The one-of-a-kind experimental aircraft will fly faster than Mach 1 and higher than most high-performance aircraft, at 55,000 feet. The aircraft cleared critical ground testing in 2022 and is slated for first flight in 2023.
With a worldwide presence and legacy of delivering an unmatched performance for operators, the F414 will continue to play an imperative role in supporting armed forces domestically and abroad for decades to come.
More about the GE F414: