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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 MrBungle123 on 7/27/2009 1:12:45 PM , Rating: 0
quote:
well what are not telling you is these companies are very very greedy.


Companies exist to make money, not give people good deals.

quote:
They keep uping the price to build these machines all the time. This is one way of letting them know that the gov. is tired of getting ripped off. they can build as many jets and engines as the country allows with the current money they have.


More advanced equipment requires more money to research and develop hence the increased cost. Cost only goes down when you can take advantage of economies of scale.

Maintaining a military is one of the few things our government does that it is actually constitutionally obligated to do, the least they could do is a halfway decent job of it. When its time to save money they should start by cutting entitlements and partisan pet projects that the federal government has no business providing anyway.


RE: What's that sound I hear?
By Tsuwamono on 7/27/2009 1:37:12 PM , Rating: 3
"Maintaining a military is one of the few things our government does that it is actually constitutionally obligated to do"

And thats whats scary about the US. All other countries maintain their military for defensive purposes and keep it in line with what would be required to defend themselves.(for the most part)

USA on the other hand have a military that could defend half the globe. Not really needed and it makes USA look more like an aggressor.

I guess now its time to get rated down.


RE: What's that sound I hear?
By Jimbo1234 on 7/27/2009 1:45:12 PM , Rating: 3
That's not too far from the truth. The US government's military spending is about 50% of the world's military spending.


RE: What's that sound I hear?
By Atheist Icon on 7/27/2009 2:42:44 PM , Rating: 5
When you are protecting Britan, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Poland, Japan, South Korea, Saudi Arabi, and Kuwait, it's really not that hard to spend a lot of money on defense.


RE: What's that sound I hear?
By MrBlastman on 7/27/2009 3:58:21 PM , Rating: 5
What I find hilarious is that for all of this spending and protection that we provide, we hardly are ever appreciated for it.

The Military is a thankless job. :-| I'll just use this posting space to say: "Thank you!" to all our brave men and women. I thanked a guy in the airport the other day coming home from Iraq. They need to hear it.


RE: What's that sound I hear?
By ImEmmittSmith on 7/27/2009 4:28:41 PM , Rating: 1
+1 if I could! Right on the money. America has always been willing to die for other countries just so they can be or remain free of tyranny or oppression. America does more good than the media gives us credit for. Just talk to any soldier that has come back from IRAQ who has been around civilians. The people really like what we are doing and have done for them, but the power mongers want us out!


RE: What's that sound I hear?
By MrPoletski on 8/6/2009 8:54:40 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
America has always been willing to die for other countries just so they can be or remain free of tyranny or oppression.


Just like in 1953 when Britain and the USA organised a military coup to overthrow the democraticly elected Iranian government in favour of military style dictatorship responsible for numerous atrocious human rights violations?

Your claim is laughable given even a small amount of historical reading. I feel sorry for the troops being used as pawns in a big game of chess.

You think the USA acts benevolent like you say because you believe the rubbish the politicians cite as the reasoning for their military intervention.


RE: What's that sound I hear?
By Atheist Icon on 7/27/2009 6:54:19 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
The Military is a thankless job. :-| I'll just use this posting space to say: "Thank you!" to all our brave men and women. I thanked a guy in the airport the other day coming home from Iraq. They need to hear it.


How true, I thank my wife everyday I talk to her while she is in Afghanistan and while I was in Baltimore, I individually shook every service members hand before I left to come back to San Antonio. It seems like a small gesture, but it is the greatest when you are recognized.

I am prior USAF, disabled Vet, someone just saying thanks caused a tear to come to my eye.


RE: What's that sound I hear?
By MrPoletski on 8/6/2009 8:47:00 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
What I find hilarious is that for all of this spending and protection that we provide, we hardly are ever appreciated for it.


Yeah, because you would appreciate a European military the size of your own installed all through your states wouldn't you.

Who the hell asked you for your help anyways? this isn't WW2 anymore.


RE: What's that sound I hear?
By maxcue on 7/27/09, Rating: -1
RE: What's that sound I hear?
By Lord 666 on 7/27/09, Rating: 0
RE: What's that sound I hear?
By Atheist Icon on 7/27/2009 6:47:33 PM , Rating: 2
Forgot about Australia and us bailing them out in WWII.

I thought Canada was part of the US, isn't it the 51st state?


RE: What's that sound I hear?
By glennc on 7/28/2009 2:31:35 AM , Rating: 2
you need us just as much as we need you. you guys need all the political support from other countries you can get because of the media. 2 way street. you are not protecting us because you are just a bunch of nice guys, it has advantages.


RE: What's that sound I hear?
By Gladius777 on 7/27/2009 9:02:25 PM , Rating: 3
We would defend our selves if the Aus government didn't take away most of our guns....Anyway its in the US's interest to defend us so we don't become a big commie or terrorist base. We can be yours instead!
We have the same problem with left leaning governments as you folks do..."No, no." the lefties say, the Islamic extremists won't try to hurt us, if we just put down our weapons, they won't bring on another 911 or Bali bombing etc......Gullible fools!

- yes we can bark like dogs too ;)


RE: What's that sound I hear?
By Harinezumi on 7/27/2009 7:32:33 PM , Rating: 3
Maybe it's about time we let those countries' taxpayers foot the full bill for their defense?


RE: What's that sound I hear?
By MrPoletski on 8/6/2009 8:59:37 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Maybe it's about time we let those countries' taxpayers foot the full bill for their defense?


We already do thanks, we have our own military, any additional help form US forces is not required. Appreciated I guess but not required. Don't act like we'd all fall apart if you weren't around because we wouldn't.


RE: What's that sound I hear?
By lagomorpha on 7/27/2009 11:26:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
When you are protecting Britan, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Poland, Japan, South Korea, Saudi Arabi, and Kuwait, it's really not that hard to spend a lot of money on defense.


Which is kind of sad considering France, Britain, Japan, Germany, Italy, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Spain, and Poland have the 3rd-7th, 10th, 12th, 15th, and 20th highest military budgets respectively.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_and...


RE: What's that sound I hear?
By Atheist Icon on 7/27/2009 11:34:16 PM , Rating: 3
The really sad thing is that the all of Europe spends less then half of what we spend of what we do, so they can lean on us whenever they need to.


RE: What's that sound I hear?
By MrPoletski on 8/6/2009 9:04:00 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The really sad thing is that the all of Europe spends less then half of what we spend of what we do, so they can lean on us whenever they need to.


The only military force that's been leaning on any other for help recently is the USA trying to get us to go help with your illegal war in Iraq.

When was the last time a European country (out of the aforementioned list) found itself under threat and asked the USA to come help out because it couldn't handle the military logistics by itself?

We spend half as much money (probably less) on military as you because we don't go around invading countries to maintain our economic prowess.


RE: What's that sound I hear?
By jadeskye on 7/28/2009 12:13:14 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
When you are protecting Britan, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Poland, Japan, South Korea, Saudi Arabi, and Kuwait, it's really not that hard to spend a lot of money on defense.


Excuse me sir but i believe you are mistaken. The combined military force of Europe is more then capable of defending itself. I cannot speak for saudi arabia and japan for it's outside my military knowledge and i think you'll find theres more then one country occupying and protecting kuwait, among other regions of the middle east.

Don't be so quick to assume that the united states is the only country with defensive capabilities.

Not to mention the only reason that news stories like this reach the ears and eyes is because the american media is the most sensationalist in the world by far.


RE: What's that sound I hear?
By MrPoletski on 8/6/2009 8:45:00 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
When you are protecting Britan, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Poland, Japan, South Korea, Saudi Arabi, and Kuwait, it's really not that hard to spend a lot of money on defense.


*AHEM* (cough)

We don't need your 'protection'.


RE: What's that sound I hear?
By Solandri on 7/28/2009 6:00:26 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
The US government's military spending is about 50% of the world's military spending.

It's actually 47% of nominal spending (obviously a much smaller portion of PPP - you have to remember that a dollar spent in a U.S. factory buys a lot less than a dollar-equivalent spent in a Chinese factory).

As a percent of GDP, U.S. military spending was 4.06% in 2005. About the same as China and Russia. World average was 2.6%.
http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/mil_exp_per_of_g...

From 1999-2001 (i.e. before 9/11), it dipped below 3.0% of GDP. France actually spent a greater portion of their GDP on their military (3.1% IIRC) than the U.S. did in 2000, and the U.K. spent about the same.

http://www.factcheck.org/demos/factcheck/imagefile...


RE: What's that sound I hear?
By Spuke on 7/27/2009 3:38:32 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
USA on the other hand have a military that could defend half the globe. Not really needed and it makes USA look more like an aggressor.
The thing is that's the position our allies want us to be in. There seems to be a prevailing expectation for us to be the "world's police". Most Americans that I know have NO desire to be in such a position. Most of us would prefer to be self sufficient and relatively isolated from everyone else. But our government seems to think otherwise and we keep electing these clowns back into office, ad nauseam. I do honestly think we will have a much smaller world presence after we leave Iraq and Afghanistan. I wouldn't be surprised if this F22 business is just a prelude.


RE: What's that sound I hear?
By BZDTemp on 7/27/2009 4:28:48 PM , Rating: 3
I do not think it is the US allies as much as it is the US itself!

I think your government is very keen on influencing the rest of the world and one of the major means is military power.

Fx. it is pretty clear the US needs the Middle East for it's oil and with a desire to also be friends with Israel that requires a big stick to pull off.


RE: What's that sound I hear?
By Spuke on 7/27/2009 6:28:08 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Fx. it is pretty clear the US needs the Middle East for it's oil and with a desire to also be friends with Israel that requires a big stick to pull off.
No big stick needed with the Middle East and they'd sell us oil regardless cause money talks. Besides most of our oil comes from Canada and Mexico.

quote:
I do not think it is the US allies as much as it is the US itself!
When I say US allies, I'm talking about the governments of said countries. If the people in those countries don't want us being the "world's police" then they should elect officials that support that position. Trust me, the average American could care less if we lost that role.


RE: What's that sound I hear?
By Ranari on 7/27/2009 6:29:54 PM , Rating: 5
There are a couple of things people need to take into consideration here. I believe that the US Senate scaling back funding for the F-22 and F-35 is merely a product of our current times. However, both sides of the coin are correct here, and these things are:

1) The current wars that the United States is fighting are relatively low technology in scale. Terrorists are fighting us with ingenuity and dedication, not rail guns and super lasers. The need for high jet fighters like the F-22 and F-35 in Iraq/Afghanistan is absolutely zilch.

2) When you stop and consider, who are the players who can actually combat the United States in terms of military capability, or combined military capability? England, France, Russia, and China? What do these nations all have in common? They're all nuclear players. So the question is here, is it really necessary to develop high tech jet fighters in an environment that ensures mutually insured destruction anyways?

3) Let's take nuclear weapons out of the scenario. The earth is mostly covered by water. It was the British who stated that those who controlled the seas controls the world, and they're right. The United States commands the largest and most powerful navy in the world. We have power projection capability across all the Earth's oceans, and are the only world player capable of doing so. When China rattles their saber and threatens to retake Taiwan, it's not a single F-22 that's moved into the region, it's an entire U.S. Navy carrier group. And, well, no one wants to put a $130+ million dollar plane on a carrier cause of the risk of losing one.

But let's look at the flip side here. I think Pro-F35 individuals make solid points as well:

1) Unlike the F-22, the F-35 is an export capable aircraft. Any R&D we fund into the program is bound to return investment across the world export market; England, France, Israel, Australia, etc have all expressed interest in purchasing the fighter aircraft. Capital investment by our government may appear to be very high, but returns later on down the road will more than make up for it in investment.

2) R&D always leads to something. Even projects that might seem to go nowhere have some benefit to the overall field that is science.

3) The U.S. economy is dependent on its ability to project power. As a counter-argument to my previous #3 scenario, that Navy carrier group owes its projection capability to the fighter craft that land on it. If we were still launching Mustangs and Corsairs off our carriers, then we'd have the worlds largest, and ironically most mobile, aviation museum.

With all that said, I'm still hesitant on what direction I really feel we should go.


RE: What's that sound I hear?
By foolsgambit11 on 7/28/2009 7:57:22 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Maintaining a military is one of the few things our government does that it is actually constitutionally obligated to do
False. Or at least a half-truth. Have you read the Federalist Papers? A standing army was considered a bad idea, and the Constitution was supposed to prevent just such a beast by forcing Congress to authorize spending on an army at least every two years. A standing navy was acceptable, though, since it couldn't be assembled quickly when needed. But we're talking about the Powers of Congress here - that is how they are described. Things Congress has the power to do. They are not obligations. The government isn't Constitutionally obligated to maintain a military. It is certainly morally and ethically obligated to provide for the common defense, but 'provide for the common defense' and 'maintain a military' are not necessarily the same thing, and a legal obligation and a moral obligation are certainly not the same thing.

Of course, all this talk about first principles ignores the simple facts of this specific case. We are developing a new jet. It's got an engine. The JSF project heads feel it wouldn't be a bad idea to have a second option for its engine. The DOD is aware of their concerns, but still feels that one engine is sufficient. Congress (at least the Senate) and the President listen to the subject matter experts on National Defense. I can't see where the problem is. If the DOD had recommended a second engine, and they had decided that they would only authorize one, then we should expect them to explain their reasoning - what other national interests are they weighing against the DOD's recommendations to come to their conclusion? But that's not happening in this case.

When Bush said he would take the advice of the Generals in Iraq, that was a good idea. When Obama takes the advice of the Generals in planning National Defense, that's suddenly a problem? Partisanship. Pure partisanship.


"Can anyone tell me what MobileMe is supposed to do?... So why the f*** doesn't it do that?" -- Steve Jobs

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