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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 Lord 666 on 7/27/2009 5:28:43 PM , Rating: 0
Don't forget Australia! Those blokes couldn't defend themselves for anything. They would jump on one foot if we asked them.

Might as well add Canada to the list as well.

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 ;)

"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher
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