The US Air Force (USAF) has contracted StandardAero to provide engine maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services for the GE Aviation J85 turbojets employed by its fleet of T-38C Talon jet trainer aircraft.
The multi-year deal – worth US$237m – will continue until 2028, with work being performed at the company’s facility in San Antonio, Texas. The contract will support up to 100 new jobs, which will be required to complete the MRO programme.
Scott Starlett, president of StandardAero’s military division, said: “We are thrilled to continue expanding our successful partnership supporting USAF aircraft engine MRO and the J85 [programme] is a very strategic and logical addition to our portfolio services… Our employees take great pride in helping our nation’s airmen achieve the highest level of operational readiness and mission success.”
Over the years, StandardAero has conducted MRO work on USAF C-130 Hercules tactical transports and on both F-15 and F-16 multi-role fighters. The company also exclusively provides engine MRO work for the Rolls-Royce RB211-535 turbofans that power Boeing 757 narrow-body airliner.
As of May 2020, the service operates a total of 440 Northrop T-38C Talon. The platform is a two-seat, twin-engine supersonic jet trainer and it holds the distinction of being the most produced jet trainer and the first supersonic jet trainer to have entered military service. The USAF’s T-38C fleet will begin to be phased out from 2023 as the air force begins to accept the first deliveries of its replacement, the Boeing-Saab T-7A Red Hawk.