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GE/Rolls-Royce F136 JSF engine in jeopardy

Purse strings in Washington are tighter than they have been in years meaning funds for some defense projects are harder to get.

The Senate has voted for an amendment to the annual defense authorization bill that could eventually block the proposed second engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter: the F136 from General Electric/Rolls-Royce. Aviation Week reports that Congress has earmarked unrequested funds for the F136, but the Senate adopted the amendment on July 23 that would require proof that the F136 engine would cut costs for the program overall. The program currently relies on the F135 engine from Pratt & Whitney.

The amendment was written by Sen. Joseph Lieberman from Connecticut who said, "The Department of Defense has long said that it neither wants nor intends to use an engine other than the one currently produced by Pratt & Whitney."

AviationWeek reports that Lieberman's claims are not entirely accurate. The Pentagon and Air force Leadership have been rejecting calls for the F136 alternative engine, but program leaders for the JSF have stressed that an alternative engine isn’t a bad idea. The bill will have to be amended in the House version if the F136 engine is to continue to be an option. Money for the F136 has been earmarked already in the House's defense appropriations bill.

GE spokesman Rick Kennedy said, "The funding battle over the GE Rolls-Royce F136 fighter engine for the JSF is far from over. The argument for an engine competition for the JSF, the largest fighter program in US history, is simply too compelling."

President Obama has threatened to veto a bill that comes to him promoting a second engine with a chance of disrupting the program. The Senate has already voted against more funds for the F-22 Raptor program.

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By Oxonium on 7/27/2009 11:26:12 AM , Rating: 5
A senator from Connecticut trying to prevent competition for Pratt & Whitney, which is based in Connecticut. Nothing shady about that, no sir....

RE: Gee
By keegssj on 7/27/2009 11:32:59 AM , Rating: 2
That was my first thought also...

RE: Gee
By WoWCow on 7/27/2009 11:45:36 AM , Rating: 3
Joe Lieberman is the worst kind of politician we can ask for.

Spineless and without principles.

"I agree more often than not with Democrats on domestic policy. I agree more often than not with Republicans on foreign and defense policy."

There you have it; he'll scream about our national defense while cutting it at the same time.

RE: Gee
By FITCamaro on 7/27/2009 1:14:46 PM , Rating: 2
RE: Gee
By MrBlastman on 7/27/2009 1:44:10 PM , Rating: 3
I can't tell if he's being serious or making a joke out of it. The crowd seemed pretty quiet.

All congressmen in support of this healthcare reform should be required by law to use nothing but this same healthcare that they are proposing. This is the only surefire way any effective measures could be passed - and - at the same time, way for the public to see there is no cost effective way to pass it.

RE: Gee
By FITCamaro on 7/27/2009 2:27:15 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. During one of Obama's speeches, he almost bragged about how he and every member of Congress have great health care. If what they're proposing is so great for us, shouldn't they also have to use it? Just an example of the nobles seeking to impose poverty on the rest of us while they live the life of luxury.

RE: Gee
By omnicronx on 7/27/2009 3:32:58 PM , Rating: 1
I don't know whats more sad, how far out of context you are taking this, or the fact you actually believe what you are saying.

RE: Gee
By Spuke on 7/27/2009 4:05:25 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know whats more sad, how far out of context you are taking this, or the fact you actually believe what you are saying.
Either way, Congress and the President should be required to use the new healthcare system.

RE: Gee
By GaryJohnson on 7/27/2009 7:23:31 PM , Rating: 2
That would be fair and logical if they were requiring you or me or every other U.S. citizen to use it, but they're not.

RE: Gee
By MrBlastman on 7/27/2009 7:38:13 PM , Rating: 2
Then they shouldn't try and cram it down our throats and make us foot the bill for it. We pay their salaries, if they feel so darned righteous they should be willing to suck it up and take one for the team.

RE: Gee
By FITCamaro on 7/28/2009 6:26:14 AM , Rating: 2
You, like most of congress, apparently haven't read the bill. Should try it sometime. While not immediately, it DOES kill off private health care in 5 years. After 5 years all private plans have to match the government's. And immediately once its signed, private insurance companies can no longer accept new customers. So even if the first thing weren't true, that would slowly kill off private health care since if you change jobs or lose your job, you're on the private system and can never go back.

Read the freakin bill. Maybe then you won't be such a drone who blindly believes everything Obama tells you.

RE: Gee
By Hrntphxr on 7/27/2009 10:12:36 PM , Rating: 1
GE Headquarters are in Fairfield CT, P&W in East Hartford.

RE: Gee
By Oxonium on 7/27/2009 10:51:35 PM , Rating: 3
But the GE Aviation Headquarters is based in Ohio.

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