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U.S. House affirms competition for Joint Strike Fighter propulsion

The U.S. House of Representatives is leading the charge for defense acquisition reform by voting 400 to 30 on Thursday for a defense spending bill for fiscal year 2010 that includes $560 million in funding for the GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Team's F136 engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).

By supporting the F136 - the competing JSF engine that is already more than 70 percent through its development - the House sets the stage for annual, head-to-head competition to the F-35 propulsion system, and avoids a decades-long, $100 billion engine monopoly being handed to a sole-source provider. In the history of the JSF program, there has never been an engine competition.

The GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team consistently receives top reviews from the Joint Program Office for program execution, including budget performance. The first production F136 engines are scheduled for delivery in 2012. Over time, the F136 engine program will more than pay for itself through decades of annual competitions that drive performance and cost improvements by design.

This year, the F136 engine has garnered support in both steps of the U.S. House budget process; defense authorization and defense appropriations.

"For 14 years, the F136 has received consistent, bipartisan support in Congress because competition is the critical cost-control mechanism for defense procurement," said David Joyce, President and CEO of GE Aviation. "The GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team simply seeks the opportunity to compete."

More than $2.5 billion has been invested in developing the GE Rolls-Royce F136 engine, including more than $50 million from GE and Rolls-Royce. The benefits of competition have been verified by numerous studies and U.S. military experience. The JSF program's international partners in the F-35 program also support competing engines.

Speaking to Congressional Quarterly, House Defense Appropriations Chairman John P. Murtha this week described the F136 engine program as "absolutely critical," adding, "An alternative engine will provide cost savings through competition as well as provide greater reliability down the road."

History has shown that competition in aircraft engine programs significantly reduces cost, while improving safety, reliability, and contractor responsiveness. The "Great Engine War," the 20-year battle to power the F-16 fighter, demonstrated these exact results with cost savings of at least 20 percent.

The F136 engine is the most advanced fighter aircraft engine ever developed and will be available to power all variants of the F-35 Lightning II aircraft for the U.S. military and eight partner nations.

The first complete new-build F136 engine began testing earlier this year under the System Development and Demonstration (SDD) contract with the U.S. Government Joint Program Office for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program. The F136 engine is a product of the best technology from two world-leading propulsion companies. The GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team has designed the only engine specifically developed for the F-35 aircraft, offering extra temperature margin and affordable growth.

F136 engine development is being led at GE Aviation in Evendale, Ohio (Cincinnati suburb), Ohio; and at Rolls-Royce in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Press release issued by GE Aircraft Engines on July 30, 2009


 Contact details from our directory:
Rolls-Royce Corporation Turbofan Engines, Turboprop Engines, Turboshaft Engines, Engine Nozzles
GE Aircraft Engines Turboprop Engines, Turboshaft Engines, Turbofan Engines, Turbojet Engines


 Related aircraft programs:
Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II


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