Defense Bill OKs F136 Funding

Defense Bill OKs F136 Funding

UPDATED: Pratt Says Bill Not Signed Yet; GE Crows

House and Senate conferees rejected the Obama administration’s mild threats and fully funded the alternate engine for the Joint Strike Fighter in the defense authorization bill.

Pratt & Whitney took a defiant stand. “This bill is not yet complete. The Administration’s reaction might still influence the outcome,” said company spokesman Jay DeFrank. The Obama administration issued wimpy language in its latest Statement of Administration Policy, saying funding for the alternate engine “could result” in a veto. And in the most recent SAP about the defense authorization bill, OMB issued this carefully calibrated threat: “If the final bill presented to the President would seriously disrupt the F-35 program, the President’s senior advisors would recommend a veto.”


Since the authorizers approved additional money for the F136 and did not take any money from the F-35 program, it seems a stretch to argue that the bill “would seriously disrupt” the program. In fact, the defense authorization bill fully funds the Joint Strike Fighter program, according to an advance version of the press release we obtained.

For its part, GE was pretty pumped. “We haven’t been formally notified by the conferees, but their support for completing the F136 engine development would be a victory for competition and a strong endorsement for real defense acquisition reform,” said spokesman Rick Kennedy.

Here’s the press summary due for release on Wednesday:

“The authorization conferees agreed to fund the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter F136 alternate engine at $560 million, with no restriction or certification requirements — House and Senate related provisions (H 218 & 242; S 211) dropped. The conferees also agreed to fully fund the $6 billion requested for procurement of 30 F-35 aircraft, which includes 16 F-35Bs for the Marine Corps and 4 F-35Cs for the Navy and 10 F-35As for the Air Force. The conference report is expected to be taken up in the House, tomorrow.”

Join the Conversation

This is a win-win. Pratt is stil the main engine supplier. Competition continues and GE/Rolls continue to produce engines and create jobs. And we advert for one more year the potential of grounding the entire US air fleet that could come from switching most of our fleet to the F-35 with one engine source.

So OK to spend billions on a second less effective engine but no F-22s? Maybe if Lockheed Martin/Boeing made those stupid pig tail light bulbs the F-22 would still be in produciton too?

I suppose the second engine on the F-14 was less effective as well?

Wow!!!! Must be a Lockheed employee. That and uninformed. The f-136 has far more thrust and room to grow.

Jarhead…you are right about “dow”. He is very uninformed. VTVR4 said it all when its a Win WIn for everyone. Not only does it preserve good paying jobs, it protects our leading edge technology development, prevents an increase in unemployment which is at 9.8% today, but most of all it gives our services and our allies a choice of a propulsion system. Competition is good for the country and our Military in this case. America wins here!!!!!

Typical? They pay for this but our idiots in Washington won’t pay for the number of F-22s the USAF needs.

P&W needs the F135 engine contract too, especially since they won’t be building many more F119s under the current plan.

Are they screwing P&W to help their friends at GE?

I would be interested where this expense/initiative was in the list of DOD priorities. Prepared by the Military and not by the politico’s.

There is rarely discussion about ranking expnses; taking for granted the well is always full. We need to take steps to ensure that money is well spent — based upon needed capabilities. (JCIDS and Joint capability Task List). And to remove programs that are not based upon real military needs.

The F135 barely passed STOVL ground test…by 1%. From PW press release.…“We demonstrated 41,100 pounds of vertical thrust against our requirement of 40,550.” 550 pounds of margin is 1%! You can have a thrust differential of more than 1% from one production engine to the next…so some F135s will miss spec just as a matter of routine production variation. Bottom line is this– the STOVL F-35 is almost useless with the F135. They’ll have to operate like the CTOL version. And if the F135 is so great, why is PW developing a larger fan and a larger core at AFRL? Because they know the F135 is a turd in any version of the F-35. Pilots will have to learn to fly the engine…just like Tomcat pilots had to with those POS TF-30’s. As a former Naval Aviator, I know what I am talking about when it comes to “flying the engine” and not the airplane. PW wants the F136 dead because they know that they will lose any head-to-head competition based on price or performance.

Exceeding the test requirement is not ‘barely passing’. Even the ‘test requirement’ of 40,550 lbs includes a not insignificant safety margin (‘spec’ hover thrust rating of the F135 is 39,400 & the program goel is a hover weight of 39,000 lbs). Exceeding the requirement means that the F-35B can be expected to take-off/hover/land with THAT MUCH MORE MARGIN. And you can bet by the time the F-35 is operational that ADDITIONAL thrust will be possible (& implemented if/when deemed necessary).

41,100 lbs (F135 demonstrated hover thrust) — 29,695 lbs (OEW of F-35B) = 11,405 lbs
That is a GREATER hover thrust vs weight margin then the AV-8B! Meaning that the F-35B can be expected to take-off/hover/land with GREATER PAYLOAD than the AV-8B.

Pilots who have ALREADY flown the F-35 are quite impressed with the power of the F135. No way you can claim an aircraft that a Block 50 F-16 needs to periodically light the afterburner in order to keep up with is underpowered. For F-35 pilots “flying the engine” will mean NOT using the afterburner as much…

Rumor has it that the Presidental HELO Program scrapped in 4/2009 is now being looked at for at by a foreign gov’t contractor. any truth??

i agree with pfcem.…. for once… haha

I sure as heck hope we get a chance for GE/Rolls F136 to go head2head with the “Mother-Pratt” POS motor. Untied Technologies needs to stay with power saws & shop-vacs and let GE ‘bring good things’ to our lives! Pratt is screwing the taxpayer with 117 now! Come on.. no more welfare $$ for UT!!

GE’s YF engine for the f-22 was a much better engine but lawmakers had to keep P&W alive. The best product doesn’t always win when politics are involved. Maybe this time the better engine will have a chance.

How many F-22’s does the USAF need to sit around Nellis AFB doing Red Flag exercises? Sure the F-22 has the best of everything it is also undeployable. Not many oversea’s bases left we can deploy USAF assets. Guam , Japan, Diego Garcia. How many F-22’s will the USAF set up as bait in Kuwait or Saudi Arabia? Carrier Air Wings are what will provide the necessary CAS. The boys in blue don’t like CAS they might get dirty.

GE is in the White House,so tell me who will get the contract !!! it does not matter what the congress does,he will send his Chicago boys up to the hill and give them a talking to.…

The USAF needs more F-22s as per their requirements and ideally they should replace all of the F-15s besides for the Strike Eagles with them. F-35As need runways too, but I don’t see you mentioning that.

Considering how the Obama administration wants to cut our carrier fleet including possibility retiring one of the Nimitz class carriers decades early, we can’t rely solely on naval aviation.

Don’t see anyone talking about GE’s major turbine failure during test of the F136 this week. Can imagine the hullabaloo if that was the F135. Here we have a paper engine F136 competing against an F135 that has already achieved flight qualification for all variants… pilot feedback has been exhuberant… thrust response blows away the F119 and ss thrust accuracy is impeccable. It will be years before GE figures out how to control their F136 for Power Lift and Semi-jet… but who cares if we have health care… as long as we keep flowing money to the unproven F136 and the GE lobby. Talk about unnecessary gov’t welfare $$ and waste!

> Don’t see anyone talking about GE’s major turbine failure during test of the F136 this week

you’re not looking
http://​www​.dodbuzz​.com/​2​0​0​9​/​1​0​/​0​7​/​d​i​n​g​s​-​a​n​d​-​n​i​cks

> Can imagine the hullabaloo if that was the F135.

you mean like this?
http://​www​.dodbuzz​.com/​2​0​0​9​/​0​9​/​1​8​/​p​r​a​t​t​s​-​f​1​3​5​-​nee

> Here we have a paper engine F136 competing against an F135 that has already achieved flight qualification for all variants

1. Misleading at best. STOVL mode (the most difficult) has NOT been qualified
2. which is worse: a failure at the beginning of a program or after it’s ‘achieved flight qualification for all variants’?

> but who cares if we have health care… as long as we keep flowing money to the unproven F136 and the GE lobby

you cannot be serious

keeping the alternate engine for another year is $560 million

that’s such a small amount i’m not sure why it’s even an issue

in comparison, the US spent over $2.2 TRILLION on healthcare in 2007

($560 million is $0.00056 trillion)

“Here we have a paper engine F136 competing against an F135 that has already achieved flight qualification…”. It is hard to understand how a “paper engine” can be undergoing testing and be 75% through the test cycle. I am not a powerplant engineer but it sounds roughly about at the same point where the latest version of the F135 had issues. Of note, from initial reports it appears the problem on the F136 was found after shutdown for scheduled borescoping not because the engine quit running or exhibited any problems on the stand. Both the F135 and the F136 appear to be good engines that will meet the objectives of the USAF. GAO estimated in 2007 (before a almost 40% increase in F135 price), that two engines would save over $2 billion in the long run. Sounds like a good plan to have two and avoid another potential F100 fiasco.

I wonder how long before the Governemt pamphets read “Printed by the United States, a subsdivision of General Electric”

GREAT REPLY. Wow, seriously i like your style. Finally someone with a little sense.

I dont know why were still on the drawing board and fighting on this. Out of all rougue nation, the Chinese alone have 1,300 modern fighter jets currently on service.

Hey irtusk and Jeremy… you guys are SO UNINFORMED! The F135 engine IS CTOL/CV/STOVL flight qualified. The F35 is aircraft is about to undergo its first STOVL testing with the F135 engine in weeks. STOVL is one of the features of the F135… its control has been fully vetted during both CDA and during SDD testing through multitudes of testing (over 10 years of experience here). These modes are getting rave reviews from the pilots during flight checkout and on the simulator. The F136 has miles and miles to go before they will be every ready for Powered Lift and Semi-Jet.

A paper engine is one that can’t make it through its first serious max testing. The engine has spent nearly most of this year not being tested. 8 hours on, months off, 8 hours on, monthos more off. The F136 is a larger core, bigger fuel waster with advanced materials that are not ready for prime-time. The F135 uses the proved, smaller F119 core that is as robust as they come. This equates to delivering required thrust, more efficiently.

And for those quoting the “41,100 pounds of vertical thrust against the requirement of 40,550.” 550 pounds of margin is 1%! … As pfcem said the ‘test requirement’ of 40,550 lbs includes a not insignificant safety margin (‘spec’ hover thrust rating of the F135 is 39,400 lbs). And if you are still concerned about this, don’t look to the F135 — you should be questioning the capability of the RR Lift Fan that is COMMON between the F135 and F136. This is where the limit to powered lift thrust is coming from. STOVL is all about balance, of thrust split and thrust. Generating more thrust out of the engine does not equate to equalizing this imbalance of the Lift Fan is not capable of delivering it.

> The F135 engine IS CTOL/CV/STOVL flight qualified

well i just hadn’t seen the story about how it finally passed stovl testing. if you could like to that, it would be appreciated

> The F136 is a larger core, bigger fuel waster with advanced materials that are not ready for prime-time

well if it’s as bad as you say, then i’m sure the F135 has nothing to fear from it in an open competition ;)

> The F135 uses the proved, smaller F119 core that is as robust as they come. This equates to delivering required thrust, more efficiently.

i can see more effiency possibly, but i don’t see how using a smaller core equals more thrust

Status of F135 Engine: STOVL Flight Clearance achieved last January, and Statement of Qualification was achieved a few months back: http://​www​.f135engine​.com/​p​r​o​v​e​n​-​t​e​c​h​/​a​c​c​o​m​p​l​i​shm… ISR for all variants are in the works over the next few months. GE has at least three to four years of development ahead of them, assuming no development issues.

In addition, comments from JPO indicate remarkable ability to dial in steady-state thrust and that idle to max-thrust is much quicker and consistent than the F119, F110 or F100. The other comments are that the F135 has achieved level 1 powered-lift flying quality as compared to the Harrier ADOUR’s level 5 capability. This is the “balance” of simultaenously achieving thrust, thrust split (and roll control). This is where PW has a significant advantage over the F136 in an open competition. There is 10 years of learned experience here, that GE/RR has virtually no experience with.

Detailed Press Release in March 2009 of F135 STOVL Flight Clearance and Statement of Qualification: http://​www​.pw​.utc​.com/​v​g​n​-​e​x​t​-​t​e​m​p​l​a​t​i​n​g​/​v​/​i​n​dex.…

Note that F135 STOVL Up-and-Away flights already occurred earlier this year, as did Pit Evaluation Testing of the Engine & Lift Fan. The F35 A/C has now been flight quaified for Powered Lift and the First Vertical Landing is scheduled in the next few weeks. CTOL/CV Initial Service Release (ISR) or Production Engines are also scheduled to be completed before year-end. BTW, we are talking about an extraordinarily robust and efficient F119 core here that combined with the control is overachieving on virtrually all requirements…

It could come down to jobs. Now that Pratt has nearly completed SDD, hundreds are losing jobs. If GE picks up SDD then hundreds could be gained. Pratt and the Gov’t need to restore SDD funding to F135 to keep it going otherwise it will stagnate and GE WILL catch up. especially if those scorned by Pratt go to GE.

*required

NOTE: Comments are limited to 2500 characters and spaces.

By commenting on this topic you agree to the terms and conditions of our User Agreement

AdChoices | Like us on , follow us on and join us on Google+
© 2014 Military Advantage
A Monster Company.