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Pratt & Whitney hopes to beat price goals for F-35 engine  (Source: DefenseNews)
Company found a way to boost thrust by 100 pounds for Marine F-35

The F-35 fighter program is over budget and behind schedule, but the contractors are working hard to get back cut costs and adhere to time schedules. One of the most costly components of the F-35 is its engine made by Pratt & Whitney. The company has announced that it is working to lower the price of the engine and that the price could drop even more in the coming years. 

This news comes ahead of the start of negotiations between the Pentagon and primary contractor Lockheed Martin for the next batch of fighters. Bennett Croswell, president of Pratt & Whitney military engines said, "We have activities planned and in place to bring the cost down in [low-rate initial production] 5."

The fifth batch of F-35 fighters is part of the LRIP 5 batch. Pratt & Whitney has plans to reduce the cost of the F135 engine to the price of the older F119 engine that the F-22A uses. What exactly those prices are is unknown since that is proprietary information owned by the engine builder. Pratt & Whitney has said that it was able to beat the price target during the negotiations for the fourth batch of fighters and it hoped to be able to beat pricing again on the fifth batch purchase.

Croswell said, "We're constantly looking at ways to do even better than what that plan is."

While negotiations are going on for the next batch of engines, Pratt & Whitney has announced that it has found a way to increase the thrust of the F135 engine used in the vertically landing version of the F-35 that will be flown by the Marine Corps. The change will add 100 pounds of thrust to the engine and the company is also trying to reduce the weight of the engine by 100 pounds.

There are some in Washington that want to see development of the second F-35 engine renewed. An amendment proposed by the House would allow the second engine to be developed at the cost of the builder. The second engine for the F-35 was officially killed in March.



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RE: Most expensive defense program, ever
By FaaR on 6/7/2011 2:39:39 PM , Rating: 2
What exactly is it you need to deter so badly, considering all the other nations on planet Earth DON'T have a need to plow down roughly a trillion dollars a year on "defense"-related (read: offense) projects?

Could it be you actually don't, that you've simply been bamboozled by your military-industrial complex and their bought-off democratically elected government officials?


RE: Most expensive defense program, ever
By AssBall on 6/7/2011 2:51:38 PM , Rating: 5
Maybe when you are held hostage by Somali pirates we'll just shrug and leave you there. How's that sound?


RE: Most expensive defense program, ever
By wiz220 on 6/7/2011 6:35:41 PM , Rating: 5
That's a pretty poor example. I don't think anyone has been rescued from Somali pirates with hardware that came from a hundreds of billions of dollars stealth fighter program. Conventional (and relatively cheap) military hardware does that job just fine.


By Reclaimer77 on 6/7/2011 7:20:20 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
That's a pretty poor example. I don't think anyone has been rescued from Somali pirates with hardware that came from a hundreds of billions of dollars stealth fighter program. Conventional (and relatively cheap) military hardware does that job just fine.


Yeah like billion dollar carrier groups, Navy destroyers, amphibious assault crafts etc etc? Those "cheap" military hardwares?

What do you think, we send a few snipers out to the Indian Ocean on a 747 to take care of pirates? How do you think we conduct anti-piracy ops in the Indian Ocean without expensive naval and land based hardware?

Oh, that's right, we WOULDN'T be able to.


RE: Most expensive defense program, ever
By AssBall on 6/7/2011 11:00:03 PM , Rating: 2
Rescuing people held by pirates is basically free. Movies have showed us this. You just need a dude or better yet a hot chick in a hang glider with a knife and everyone ends up happy.

It doesn't really take hundreds of people working long hours for several days developing strategies, reliable hardware, hours of communication, state of the art electronics and equipment, negotiating and cutting international government tape, preparation, training, or feeding and housing people 2000 miles off shore doing their job keeping us safe.

That stuff is all a myth. Now take your hands off your ears and stop going LALLALALALALAA.


By Strunf on 6/8/2011 7:44:57 AM , Rating: 2
A dozen of well equipped mercenaries traveling with the ships would do a much better job and cost a lot less than any other means and of course be paid by the transport companies and not the tax payers!

Seriously this Somalian pirates thing is blown out of proportion, the ransom the pirates ask for is probably not that high if it was transport companies would invest in better security.


By Bad-Karma on 6/10/2011 2:09:32 AM , Rating: 2
Or..... You could point to the fact that he's able to write his post in English and not German.


RE: Most expensive defense program, ever
By Reclaimer77 on 6/7/2011 5:10:04 PM , Rating: 2
It would be a major destabilizing force if we were to severely reduce our ability to project power and cut our defense budget. Countries no longer protected from us would either get invaded or have to build up their own forces. The latter would be interpreted as a hostile action by their neighbors, escalating tensions. Regions would become unstable in our absence. It's called a "power vacuum", look it up.

Let's take South Korea, for example. We spend millions, maybe billions, yearly keeping our "tripwire" force there as well as Naval assets. Let's just say that we remove that. What happens? Assuming North Korea didn't outright invade, South Korea would have to then commence a military buildup. North Korea would then claim their borders are being threatened. Diplomatic relations for the entire region become strained, possibly critically. The potential of military conflicts rise much higher than they would be had we been there.


RE: Most expensive defense program, ever
By wiz220 on 6/7/2011 7:02:30 PM , Rating: 2
Great, so you're saying we have to police the world? Ya, that sounds like a sustainable fiscal situation. You're trying to tell me that if we maybe just spent as much as the next say, five, biggest militaries in the world combined (as opposed to the next 15 or so as it stands now) the world would descend into chaos? I doubt it, you're position sounds a little more than slightly alarmist. Most of what is spent isn't spent on a deterrence force in Korea, or other obvious high profile military objectives. It's spent supporting our military contractor welfare program. That's what many people have a problem with, buying things we don't need for fights that aren't coming.

Also, we have unwittingly created plenty of "power vacuums" in the past. I'm not so sure you know what that term really means. Here's a good example of a "power vacuum". When we got rid of Sadaam in Iraq without a solid plan to stabilize the country, then disbanded the military, that created a "power vacuum". You see, all of our military might and we couldn't stop that vacuum from happening, even though we were right there in the middle of the mess. It took 10 years and trillions of dollars to (kinda) fix the situation that started with a high profile military invasion.


By Reclaimer77 on 6/7/2011 7:12:57 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Great, so you're saying we have to police the world?


I don't make policy, I'm just saying what our doctrine is and that it works.

Also using raw numbers we spend isn't a true portrayal of our military's expenditure. For example, North Korea spends 30% of their GDP on the military. Their people are starving and impoverished. Our military spending as a percentage of GDP is FAR less than many nations.

We could disband the ENTIRE Department of Defense and we would still have a 800 billion dollar deficit. So don't try and pretend that our current military spending isn't sustainable or is breaking us.

quote:
That's what many people have a problem with, buying things we don't need for fights that aren't coming.


So you know what fights are "coming"? Hey, can I borrow your crystal ball?


By SPOOFE on 6/8/2011 12:11:01 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Great, so you're saying we have to police the world?

He's saying there are commitments we've made and there could be really awful results if we break them. Our domestic commitments are far more costly than our foreign commitments; people that focus on our overseas expenditures are either missing the point or, especially if they're in office, deliberately avoiding dealing with the problems (because if you mess with people's entitlements you die politically).


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