backtop


Print 119 comment(s) - last by MrPoletski.. on Aug 6 at 9:14 AM

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.



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: What's that sound I hear?
By Sureshot324 on 7/27/2009 1:03:19 PM , Rating: -1
You guys are missing his point. Of course the airforce is crucial to recent wars like Iraq and Afghanistan. But we could have used WW2 planes for that and it wouldn't make a difference. These countries are not even challenging our airforce, effectively reducing the role of our planes to transports for our bombs. The guidance technology in the bombs themselves is much more important then the planes.

Investing hundreds of billions in cutting edge aircraft is a complete waste at this point considering the kind of wars that are being fought. The only scenario where there is even the faintest chance of a need for more air superiority is a war with China. Considering how unlikely this is and how far behind they are at present, getting into an arms race with Chine would be just stupid.


RE: What's that sound I hear?
By MrBlastman on 7/27/2009 1:50:01 PM , Rating: 1
Just because we are eating Kabobs and Felafels today doesn't mean we won't be eating Kung Pow, Ramen or Hot n' Sour tomorrow. At one point we could have been eating lots of Caviar.

Be Prepared. There is no other way. If the enemy sees your big gun and is scared, perhaps they will be deterred from acting. If the enemy sees you have no gun at all, they might try and come kill you. If the enemy sees you have no gun but you secretly have a gigantic one, you might fool them and kill them when they try and come kill you.

Either way, it is better to have that big gun than not. Aircraft technology is so advanced nowadays that there is no feasible way to spool up production lines and crank out wonders such as the F-22 in rapid fashion should a large-scale conventional war start. At least, not right now. By having these planes now, we get that extra edge we need should the situation arise.


RE: What's that sound I hear?
By Sureshot324 on 7/27/2009 2:51:51 PM , Rating: 3
I don't disagree with this point, but it's all about numbers and you have to draw the line somewhere. Why stop here? Why not double the defense budget immediately so you can be even more safe from aggressors?

The probability of the US being defeated in a war in the near future is low enough, and the US's current financial situation is poor enough, that cutting wasteful programs such as the F22 and a second engine for the F35 is the right choice.


RE: What's that sound I hear?
By Harinezumi on 7/27/2009 8:10:35 PM , Rating: 3
It's important to be prepared, but what the US has been doing for the past decade is ripping off its balls to cover its ass.

China owns us, and to a large extent that is due to massive deficits brought on by chronic military overspending. What is the point of having the world's best military if your biggest geopolitical rival can destroy you economically without firing a shot?

Massive military spending made sense during the Cold War, because failure to keep up in the arms race was an invitation for the nukes to start flying. Outspending the rest of the world now makes absolutely no sense, and damages our overall national security by making us more economically vulnerable to foreign interests.


RE: What's that sound I hear?
By ianweck on 7/27/2009 3:18:59 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Investing hundreds of billions in cutting edge aircraft is a complete waste at this point considering the kind of wars that are being fought.


If the choice is between overkill and underkill, I'll take overkill.


RE: What's that sound I hear?
By MrPoletski on 8/6/2009 9:14:06 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
If the choice is between overkill and underkill, I'll take overkill.


But that's not the choice, the choice is overkill or supermegakill.


RE: What's that sound I hear?
By helloseth on 7/27/2009 3:27:01 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You guys are missing his point. Of course the airforce is crucial to recent wars like Iraq and Afghanistan. But we could have used WW2 planes for that and it wouldn't make a difference. These countries are not even challenging our airforce, effectively reducing the role of our planes to transports for our bombs. The guidance technology in the bombs themselves is much more important then the planes.


So you're suggesting that if US forces used B17 and P51's, the outcome would be the same?

Could it be that perhaps the reason "These countries are not even challenging our airforce" be that we do have a sufficently advanced air capability that if they try to setup SAM sites and paint our planes, we blow them off the map? That's the whole point of air superiority.

I seem to recall that the Soviets used somewhat more advanced aircraft that existed in WWII, and had heavy losses.

The bottom line is that air superiority is what makes enemys not respond to air superiority. Think Bosnia in the '90s. The US bombed the crap out of them and they did fight back (I recall one downed F117) but eventually they capitulated.

You never want a 'fair' fight in times of war...


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

Related Articles













botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki