UK MoD Letter Supports F136

UK MoD Letter Supports F136

Britain’s Defense Minister, Liam Fox, has written a letter to Sen. Carl Levin telling him that he worries the U.S. may drop the second engine for the Joint Strike Fighter, a decision that may end up “costing the US and her partners much more in the long term.”

Defense Secretary Robert Gates and President Obama have pledged to veto any bill supporting the F136 engine, a pledge repeated by White House spokesman Robert Gibbs earlier this week.

“A second engine provides competitive discipline during the procurement of the production engines. The alternative, of course, is the creation of a permanent monopoly with all the disadvantages that would flow from that,” Fox wrote Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Levin, who released the letter today. Fox touted what he said will be “very significant cost benefits” which he argued are especially important “in the present period of budgetary constraint.”


Fox repeated the familiar arguments about the dangers of relying on one company to make the F-35’s engines should there be design or technical problem “with all the risks and vulnerabilities that this brings.”

Finally, anticipating what F135 supporters will say, Fox claimed, “This is not an industrial based issue. The UK has content in both engines. Whilst there are obviously industrial interests at stake for the UK, given the involvement of Rolls-Royce as a junior partner to GE, by far the greater proportion of work, even for Roil-Royce, will be carried out in the US.”

Levin, a staunch supporter of the second engine,  said he had shared the letter with Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who has not responded yet.

General Electric and Rolls Royce supporters rejoice. Will there be similar letters from other JSF partners?

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Have them pay for it then.….…

Good to hear the Brits speak up, even if it’s a lecture on capitalism 101 and that only a complete sucker single sources for 50 years.

Just to justify whats already gone into F136 engines, means we need to see a hypothetical $10M saving per plane. How does this make sense? We could have purchased an extra 1/6 more F35s if no money was dumped into the F136.

Jeff: We could have bought at a minimum 10 more F35’s with the 2B the F135 is over budget. More impactfull to future F35 buys is the “new” F135 being designed that will be tested come January 2011. Secretary Gates would be a HERO if he keeps the F136 funded…the long term benefits are substantial and it will help Mr Gates achive his goal of reducing the Pentagons budget. Stay Tuned, its not over yet.

Many of them have already paid in as F35 Partners and will pay again IF they buy the planes. Your forgetting this is potentially 300 Billion pound export market and you are worrying about the last billion for the F136 when the overruns on the 135 where never accounted at least give it one year and do a fair competition to see which is dropped.

How about the dangers of relying all on the U.S. ?

Anyone refusing the F-35 because the F136 is no longer an option doesn’t deserve the F-35 & are welcome to either spend as much (or more) for less capable 4/4.5 generation fighters or invest the tens of billions of $ to develope their own F-35 equivalent.

pfcem: I don’t see how it will cost more. Studies have been done by GAO and even some independents and nowhere does it say that keeping the F136 in the game is going to make the F35 more expensive. In fact, it’s the contrary. We need to concentrate on the long term benefits over the life of the program and not the short term. Look at the success of the F16 weapon system as a whole domestically and internationally. This platform alone illustrates what having two engine choices can bring to foreign military exports for the USG.

pfcem: I agree that there are some significant costs being spent on the F135 for hardware development that is common with the F136. Therefore, it would be very difficult at best for the F136 to exceed the development costs of the F135. In other words, I agree with your statement, hence the F136 benefits from this and the development costs are that mnuch lower than the F135’s.

If the British want it then let them pay for it. Plenty of fighters have had their engines sole sourced before without any problems.

Good Evening Folks,

Out in the real world we call this a shake down, in more polite salons, it’s just called “Blackmail”. One would think that the UK’s Minister of Defense would be beyond such contemptible behavior.

I guess the stiff upper lip is history in the mother country.

ALLONS,
Byron Skinner

On the contrary, 2 out of three government studies found that continuing the F136 would cost more. Only the GAO study claims any cost savings.

And having an alternate engine for the F-16 has done nothing for its sucess. All it has done is increase operating cost (which over the live of a program significantly outweigh procurment cost) & cause operating/maintaining problems.

Like I said, there ARE benifits to an alternate engine bust cost saving is NOT one of them.

It is totally disingenuous just compare the quoted costs & ignore a significant portion of the F136 development cost ARE ALREADY PAID FOR by the F135. Assuming we continue with the F136, by the time it is said & done the F136 will cost as much or more than the F135.

BobintheCar, I agree. Did all that self-righteous pontificating come with a check?

Dave K: Sorry for your ignorance. But, I’m closely associated with the F16 SPO and the Pentagon and rest assured there have been several domestic and FMS sales for the F16 where the engine choice played a significant part. We are also seeing the engine choice being a major part in the F15 platform. I guess if I = GE then you must = P&W?????

pfcem: I spent several years at a USAF HQ’s managing the F16 and F15; It’s a documented fact that competition for the F16 proved not only cost avoidance, but also cost savings by having two engines. Also, having two engines gave our Combat Wings additional capability that one engine would not have provided during some very difficult times/missions.
No data shows that the F136 will cost as much or more to develop. In fact, GAO reports show that the potential of 20B in savings exist if competition was to remain for the F35 over the life of the program.

All of our eggs will be in one monopolized basket, yeh we’ll get good pricing and save money.

Sure we’ll have responsive contractors.

Of course nothing will ever go wrong with our single airframe type, single engine type DoD TACAIR capability.

I can almost hear Dr. Evil saying “what, what could go wrong?”

“…one monopolized basket, yeh we’ll get good pricing and save money”.
The same applies to the consequences of selecting EADS for the USAF tanker. Boeing would be out of the tanker business; thousands of workers laid off; but the acquisition types could crow about the good deal they got.

You are absolutly FOS. NOBODY has ever procured the F-16 BECAUSE they could chose the F110 over the F100. Every single customer which has procured F110-powered F-16s WOULD have still procured F-16s if the F100 was the only engine choice.

You so-called ‘documented fact’ is completely devoid of reality. Again, procurement cost is only a portion of total cost…

The only thing having two engines gave our Combat Wings was MORE maintanence/logistics burden/cost.

ALL data show that the F136 will cost as much or more to develop. Sorry If I trust the JPO over you.

Again 2 OUT OF 3 government studies found continuing with the F136 would cost MORE or result in no significant cost savings. Sorry if I trust the OTHER TWO.

Ignorance, nah. I stand by my comment. F-16 would still sell very well internationally if there were only one engine to choose from.

And as for your “close association” with the SPO, you are merely closely associated with GE. Although from your posts it’s not clear if it’s with their aviation or appliance division.

just drop the f35 and go with 36 its a no brainer !!!!!!! we could have 5/6 more f36 omg !!!!! just build them both and shutup!!!!!!

Yeah It did, we already bought the right to send in such letters with the $2 billion we “brits” invested into the R&D already, and the $10’s of billions where gonna spend on the JSF. Liam Fox has it right, two engines = competition = lower prices, that makes logical sense right? It may make logistics more difficult, but when you have international buyers, they only have to buy one of the competing engines, not both to realise the saving!!

Darren, each FMS sales buys 1 configuration while they stick the US with the component Improvement (CIP) bill to fix/maintain/upgrade both configurations.… nice.. real nice…

you need to took at the CIP costs for the F-16 program… there are significat costs associated with maintnenance of 2 “Bill of Material“s (BOMs)…

it is signficatly more then just the “logisitcs” of two configurations…

Formula, Please clarify, if you can, this comment… “having two engines gave our Combat Wings additional capability that one engine would not have provided during some very difficult times/missions”

Because each of the F-16 engines were designed, manufactured and fielded base on the F-16 ORD.… and as far as I know there has not been a seperate ORD for either engine… so in reality there is NO “additional capabilities” due to having either engine..

Additionally, I believe there is a strong arguement that having 2 configurations actually degraded our capability… having to spread the development/procurement costs (reduced savings due to reduced scale of part buys) of such programs like the SLEP or the IPE accross 2 configurations likely delayed the incorporation of TCTOs, development of the IPE engine configuration, etc, and thereby actually kept the fleets at a more reduced readiness rate over a longer period of time due to the constrainted budgets broguth about by the “competition” in funding the F100 versus the F110 fixes/upgrades.…

Operation Requirements Document = ORD

Three options: (1) Terminate F136 and go exclusively with F135, P&W makes monopoly profits and taxpayers lose. (2) Complete F136 development and price compete against F135 as plug-and-play. (3) Terminate F136 and take technical data rights away from P&W and compete F135 engine between two producers (we’ve done this before and saved big money). Note: Both options (2) and (3) reduce total costs over the life of the aircraft because of price competition. Taxpayers win.

Formula, Please clarify, if you can, this comment… “having two engines gave our Combat Wings additional capability that one engine would not have provided during some very difficult times/missions”

Because each of the F-16 engines were designed, manufactured and fielded base on the F-16 Operational Requirements Document (ORD).… and as far as I know there has not been a seperate ORD for twin engines… so in reality there is NO “additional capabilities” due to having either engine..

Formula.. Additionally, I believe there is a strong arguement that could be made that having 2 configurations actually degraded our capability over the long term… having to spread the development/procurement costs (such as reduced savings due to reduced scale of part buys) of such programs like the SLEP or the IPE accross 2 configurations likely delayed the incorporation of TCTOs, development of the IPE engine configuration, etc, and thereby actually kept the fleets at a more reduced readiness rate over a longer period of time due to the constrainted budgets broguth about by the “competition” in funding the F100 versus the F110 fixes/upgrades.…

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