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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 justniz on 7/27/2009 4:14:10 PM , Rating: 1
>>> and they're miles behind anyway

Um nope. Eurofighter could easily go head to head and win against F22s and F35s.


RE: What's that sound I hear?
By MrBlastman on 7/27/2009 5:21:05 PM , Rating: 3
I think saying it could easily win is pushing it. The Eurofighter is a darned nice aircraft but I'll leave it at that.

I suggest you go watch an F-22 at an airshow at least one time in person and you will be in complete awe of the plane. You will be in even MORE awe of the plane if you have an extensive understanding of aerial combat engagements, tactics, fundamentals and the mechanicals of how it plays out both tactically and structurally from both a conceptual execution and the raw physical execution with the airframe as it applies to the fluids of our atmosphere.

I have seen the F-22 do some crazy stuff in a 32-Ton airframe that not even Patti Wagstaff can quite pull off in an Extra 300s and that is saying a lot (I have seen both in person). The maneuverability granted by thrust vectoring is just astonishing. Think extremely high AoA's at extremely low airspeeds - much higher AoA's than an F-18 can pull off. Higher AoA at low airspeed equates to a much larger window with which to take a shot with guns or lock on a heater, either caged or uncaged leading to a kill.

The Typhoon has no thrust vectoring. It can, however pull high g's in a sustained turn for a long duration. This will help tremendously but the high AoA ability of the F-22 makes it a tossup at best for the Typhoon. But - you might argue, most engagements are BVR. Well, the Typhoon, while having a small RCS, lacks the definitive stealth technology that the F-22 has. The F-22 is built for stealth. The F-22 also has superior radar technology compared with the Eurofighter. However, this may have changed more recently. The stealth, along with more powerful radar, makes BVR a potential win with the F-22.

The F-22 can supercruise, and per Gen. Jumper:
http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?storyID=123009594

Can go up to Mach 1.7 without afterburners. That is very, very impressive. The savings on fuel flow alone will give it sustainability in a hostile environment consisting of non-BVR engagements. Think - engage and perhaps save enough fuel to make it to primary and back.


RE: What's that sound I hear?
By MrBlastman on 7/27/2009 5:27:44 PM , Rating: 3
He flew both. Result - comes down to pilot vs. pilot skill, not plane. Stupid word limit. Can't finish post.


RE: What's that sound I hear?
By 91TTZ on 7/28/2009 12:51:21 PM , Rating: 3
As far as air superiority goes, the Eurofighter is about on par with the JSF, but can't compete with the F-22.


By Major HooHaa on 8/2/2009 12:26:41 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sure that combining Stealth technology with Beyond Visual Range air-to-air missiles would give the American planes the advantage.

Anyway, I don't think the Eurofighter was designed to go up against the F-22. Pilots who have flown the Eurofighter say that it is a big step up from the Tornado.


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