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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 BansheeX on 7/27/2009 1:30:16 PM , Rating: 0
If every state had nuclear missiles, a foreign country attempting to acquire U.S. soil would indeed be an impossible scenario. The decision would be tantamount to self-annihilation.

Remember, the only time American soil was attacked by a foreign country was WWII by Japan when nukes didn't even exist yet.

RE: What's that sound I hear?
By BansheeX on 7/27/2009 1:37:35 PM , Rating: 2
Although I agree that some deterrents would be needed to dissuade harassment. Lots of ground to air stuff, some decent planes, and a navy large enough to protect from pirates. Most of our spending is unnecessary, unless you consider securing foreign resources, or dollar reserve status, a necessary national defense function. Frankly, that wouldn't have become an excuse if our energy and monetary policy wasn't so defunct.

RE: What's that sound I hear?
By Bryf50 on 7/27/2009 2:43:51 PM , Rating: 2

RE: What's that sound I hear?
By Ratinator on 7/27/2009 2:46:46 PM , Rating: 2
You may want to read up on your history.....the War of 1812.

RE: What's that sound I hear?
By croc on 7/27/2009 7:41:56 PM , Rating: 2
1812? Wasn't that the year that the British tried for a second time to rid it's territories in the New World of the Terrorist plague that had existed since the mid 1600's? Read your history...

RE: What's that sound I hear?
By foolsgambit11 on 7/28/2009 8:24:54 PM , Rating: 2
Does it really count when America started it? We tried to invade Canada (then still a British Territory), and the British retaliated.

Granted, we has our reasons to start the war. Never the less, we started it.

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