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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 ggordonliddy on 7/27/2009 8:05:04 PM , Rating: 1
We don't need ANY defense. We have BARACK OBAMA (all hail him!) as our Commander In Chief. So many people worship him as their god, that they must be right. Why fight it; you must bow down before him, as one might pray toward Mecca.

By Major HooHaa on 8/2/2009 1:04:20 PM , Rating: 2
I saw Barack Obama's recent speech in Egypt(?) on the BBC. I was very impressed with that speech. The man has a deep insight into the bigger picture (world politics and an understanding of people), what he doesn't say is as important as what he does say. He seems to leave bits out and trusts in the listener to be able to fill in the blanks. He may make the odd mistake, but hey, don't we all?

I have grown quite cynical about politics, politicians and those in power over the years. He has challenged those views. A person can make a difference, even though they are just one person, for a brief time on this earth. As he pretty much said himself in that speech (I'm not quite sure if I have the wording right there, so I won't call it a quote).

Oh and talking about the truth’s that are at the heart of all the major religions takes courage and intelligence.

"We shipped it on Saturday. Then on Sunday, we rested." -- Steve Jobs on the iPad launch
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