General Electric F404 General
Engine Type
Two-shaft turbofan engine
Thrust Rating (lbf)
17,700 lb st
General Electric
General Electric F404 Program Milestones
May, 1975
First Engine Test
December, 1976
Flight Rating Test
May, 1978
First Flight F/A-18
November, 1978
First Flight MQT
June 1979
First Delivery
December 1979

GE F404-GE-402 Dimensions
158.8 inch
Fan Diameter
34.8 inch
Basic Dry Weight
2,282 lb

General Electric F404

In may 1975 the United States Navy selected the McDonnell Douglas / Northrop corporation to develop its F/A-18 Hornet fighter aircraft, which was powered by two F404-GE-400 engines. The first F404 engine test took place merely 1,5 years later in December 1976. Preliminary flight rating tests took place in May 1978 and the first flight of a F/A-18 powered by the F404 commenced in November 1978. Then, another year later the first production delivery took place in December 1979. There are several versions available of the GE F404, which are described below.

F404-GE-400: The F404-GE-400 was the original production engine for approximately 1,100 F/A-18A/B/C/D Hornets, including exports to Australia, Canada and Spain. Furthermore, this engine also powered the Grumman X-29 and Rockwell/MBB X-31 aircraft. This version is rated at approximately 71.2 kN or 16,000 lb st.

F404-GE-402: The -402 is an Enhanced Performance Engine (EPE) that falls into the 79kN (17,700 lb st) class, combining a 2,000 hour hot section with up to 25 per cent increase in thrust, which is achieved through higher temperature, increased fan speed and improved design and materials in the turbines and afterburner. This version has been in production since 1991 specifically for the F/A-18C/D models. First flight took place on 19 September 1991 and was performed by a Kuwaiti Hornet.

F404-GE-100D: The General Electric F404-GE-100D is a 49 kN non-afterburning derivative of the F404-GE-400, having a modified single-engine control system specifically designed for the Singapore Air Force A-4SU Super Skyhawk.

F404-GE-F1D2: The -F1D2 is a non-afterburning turbojet derivative of the F404-GE-400 rated at 44.5 kN (10,000 lb st), powering the United States Air Forces' Lockheed F-117A.

F404/RM12: The RM12 is an 80 kN F404 derivative which has redesigned fan handles that allow 10 per cent greater air flow and has increased resistance to foreign-object damage. Furthermore, increased turbine inlet temperatures provides operating margins for the lower right hand corner of the flight envelope. This version was selected to flight test the Indian Light Combat Aircraft.

F404-GE-400D: Unaugmented version of the F404-GE-400 and rated at 48.0 kN (10,800 lb st). Selected to power the Grumman A-6F prototype.

Blue Angels F/A-18 flying in formation
F/A-18 flying prototype
United States Navy F/A-18
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F404 Performance

Max. Take-off Thrust (lb st)
Bypass Ratio
Flate Rate Temperature (°F)
Max Climb Thrust (kN)
Overall Pressure Ratio at Max Climb
26 : 1
Thrust-to-Weight Ratio

GE F404 powered F/A-18