The Pentagon issued a “stop work” order for the GE Aviation F136 engine in late March, and the Fiscal Year 2011 U.S. defense budget was finally signed into law last month, without funding for the alternative F-35 engine. But the fight for the F136 is not yet over.
Defense » Military Engines
News and issues relating to defense and military aircraft engines.
Pratt & Whitney has delivered the first F135 production-standard short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) engine to Lockheed Martin for the F-35B Joint Strike Fighter program. The engine manufacturer plans to deliver another 18 STOVL engines next year. Any further design changes will likely be limited to “mostly software tweaks,” a P&W representative told AIN. Meanwhile, the U.S.
After four years of flight tests, the first upgraded Lockheed Martin C-5M Super Galaxy was redelivered to the U.S. Air Force late last month. The most significant of the more than 70 changes in the reliability enhancement and re-engining program is the replacement of the four GE TF39 turbofans with modern GE CF6-80C2 engines that deliver 22 percent more thrust, improved fuel consumption and lower noise.
India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) selected the General Electric F414 turbofan engine to power the second batch of indigenous light combat aircraft (LCA), also known as the Tejas. GE’s bid was lower than that of rival contender Eurojet for supply of the EJ200, the DRDO said. The American company previously supplied 41 F404 engines to power the development and initial production LCA Mk Is.
Honeywell has delivered the first batch of 28 T55-L-714A turboshaft engines and fielding kits to the UK's Ministry of Defence for its CH-47 Chinook heavy-lift helicopter fleet. The -714A engine variant increases power by 17 percent to 4,867 shp while lowering fuel consumption by more than 4 percent compared with the current T55 version on the aircraft. The added power has become necessary for the hot and high operations in Afghanistan.
Pratt & Whitney and General Electric have bought their high-stakes battle over the provision of an alternative engine for the Lockheed-Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to Farnborough.
Rolls-Royce Opens JSF LiftSystem Facility
The U.S. House of Representatives on May 28 voted to retain funding for the F136 engine General Electric and Rolls-Royce are developing for the F-35 as an alternative to the Pratt & Whitney F135. The FY11 Defense Authorization Bill contains $485 million for continuation of the engine, which is around 70 percent through its development program.
The U.S. House armed services seapower and air-land forces subcommittees this week included $485 million in continued funding for the GE/Rolls-Royce F136, an alternative engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), in H.R.5136, the National Defense Authorization Bill for Fiscal Year 2011.
Honeywell’s recent move to quite literally get closer to its defense customers around the world is paying dividends quickly in Asia, as the U.S. group seeks to capitalize on the fact that military markets here are growing by between 4 and 8 percent each year–unlike those in the West that are flat or shrinking.