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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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RE: What's that sound I hear?
By Brutus1234 on 7/27/2009 12:51:27 PM , Rating: 0
So much to comment on this thread..

Leibermann - Best Senator Israeli money can buy.
He's a an insult to American Democracy and give how low our Senate and House have fallen how little we expect from them, that's saying a lot.

With regards to Air Superiority, just who in the hell are we going to get into an air war with - China, Russia. Probably not. I'm guessing if it ever got to an air war, nukes would be flying and air superiority would be the least of our problems.

As another posted mentioned, the air force led the way into Afghanistan and Iraq. Yes it did. They had no air defence or airforce. That's probably true for any future potential conflicts in the next 20yrs.

Just who are you planning to to invade that has an air force or may even possibly have on in the next 10yrs. My guess is anyone that does, ( Korea, Iran, etc ) is sitting on a bunch of Nukes and you're not going to f*** with them.

"Well, there may be a reason why they call them 'Mac' trucks! Windows machines will not be trucks." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer
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