GE Strikes After Gates Targets F136

GE Strikes After Gates Targets F136

Defense Secretary Robert Gates really wants to kill the second engine program for the Joint Strike Fighter and he devoted much of his five-minute budget announcement today to that end. General Electric, knowing survival of the program is again on the line, came right out and struck back.

“He claimed the F136 engine program would cost $3 billion to complete — a figure already discredited by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). GE and Rolls-Royce believe the number is closer to $1.8 billion. He failed to discuss the continuing cost overruns for the lead Pratt & Whitney engine for JSF, which last week grew an additional $1 billion in 2010 and now totals $3.5 billion in just the development phase alone,” Rick Kennedy, GE spokesman, said in an email. “He failed to discuss a four-year, struggling JSF flight test program in which the lead P&W engine has failed to operate throughout the full flight envelope — and how the P&W engine still needs untold hundreds of millions of dollars.”

Gates, sending a clear signal to Tea Party Republicans and some Democrats in the House, said he would welcome debate about the program’s future on the House floor. GE would too, according to Kennedy.


“Secretary Gates said he welcomed a debate on the House floor regarding the F136 competitive engine. We couldn’t agree more — there needs to be a debate on whether to hand a $100 billion monopoly of a single engine supplier whose costs are out of control. There was already a debate before the full House last May, and the House authorized funding for competing JSF engines. The difference today is that the case for competing JSF engine has become fare more compelling.
While the P&W cost overruns continue, the latest revision to the JSF production schedule again delays aircraft procurement. Now, all combat-capable F-35s procured by the U.S. military and its international allies can be delivered with the choice of either competing engine: the GE/Rolls-Royce F136 or the P&W F135.
Fifteen years of bi-partisan Congressional support for the F136 engine is based on good government policy that will save taxpayers money,” Kennedy said.

Gentlemen, choose your weapons. Watch the money flow, the words fly and watch the White House closely.

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Once again GE’s Kennedy is blowing smoke out his exhaust. There is no $100 billion monopoly. At most, according to the Government Accountability Office, only about $20 billion can be “competed,” and any kind of potential savings would be less than the cost of continuing to support GE’s engine development which still has years to go. What Kennedy and GE want is simply a split buy. It is time to stop wasting taxpayer dollars. A few years ago Kennedy was quoted as saying development would cost the taxpayer just $1 billion more — that was $2 billion ago. Enough wasteful spending. GE controls, according to the Houston Chronicle 90% of the military jet engine market here in the US — talk about a monopoly — well there it is. Our budgetary crisis is dire — we don’t need an extra engine when just about every other aircraft in our arsenal has but one.

Will this ever end?

Hell yeah, in this day of runaway costs and schedules for every single weapons program, we’re not going to change anything, but each time we do the same thing we are going to hope for a better result. That will show those contemptable defense department contractors who are all making record profits despite the fact we are in a recession!

Competition is ALWAYS the way to go for high-dollar programs like this. Full support for F136 funding.

the way to solve this nightmare is to terminate JSF and both engine programs and start over again with a less risky solution focused on enterprise success, not obsession with a gold plated platform. there needs to be zero tolerance for cost & schedule overruns and benefit shortfalls in MDAPs. The longer you people take to realize this, the more cost & schedule overruns & benefit shortfalls will occur. The opportunity costs paid for by failure to accomplish missions, failure to properly recapitalize our force structure resulting in attempting to accomplish missions with antiquated defense systems, and a lack of resources to warfighters in combat, price measurable in blood on the battlefield.

You’re not in the pink, my friend: “This” is supposed to never end!

(But for a good deal to work, the F-35 is not required to work either)

Well — if we only buy 1000 JSF, then there is absolutely no need for a second engine. The cost of paying logistics for two engines makes absolutely no sense. The fantasy of 5000 JSF no longer exists. Cancel the B, cancel the second engine, pour the saved funds into development of the A and C. Otherwise, the whole program is going down.

Single source providers for Jet Engines is a nightmare and threatens the availability of the Aircraft when defficiencies ground the engine. I would suggest everyone review the history of the Rolls Royce engine in the Marine Corps AV-8 Harrier program. When engine problems threatened the readiness of the fleet it could be argued that Rolls Royce had little impetus to quickly address the problems which would not be the case if they had a viable competitor. The Marines have endured uneccesary groundings and lack of capability by being the sole U.S. operator of the Harrier and it’s Engines. In this dangerous world we live in we must have the VSTOL Jet support combined with Amphibious Assault Ships which offer additional flexibility to the traditional Carrier Battle Group.

How is that competition to fully fund two engines? They already had the competition, and GE/Rolls lost. Funding a 2nd engine for a brand new fighter is idiotic and an unnecessary waste.

That makes little sense unless you think a new tanker will be able to fill the gap of an aging fighter force. Is it going to be able to refuel itself, provide CAS, and go air-ro-air?

It’s hard to believe that Mr Gates would continue suporting a program that is NOW 3.5B over budget and climbing. Mr Gates was told by the GAO and other Gov’t institutions concerning the growing trend of cost overruns for the F35 and yet Mr Gates did not address any of the real cost drivers. People were fired and/or replaced and yet we still saw cost overruns throughout 2010 and going into 2011. Now, P&W is bragging about an LRIP cost reduction, but caviat it with a 1B dollar cost increase for the remainder of SDD. How many cost overruns or increases did the GE/RR Program have? How many milestones has the GE/RR Program missed? Lets not forget, the GE/RR Program has been operating on reduced budgets for the past five years and yet the F136 will be very close to the F135 when it comes to competing combat coded F35 buys. I wonder how the F135 is fairing in the supersonic arena?????? The F135 has more issues than the general public realizes. Get ready Mr Gates, this 1B that P&W is looking for today is growing as we speak.

Friend, you might want to get your facts straight before spewing untruths! The GE F136 has in fact not only missed milestones but, actually failed miserably in late 2010 testing and is currently being completely redesigned!

As P&W say single source engines are the norm — and why would you want to fiddle with what has worked so well for P&W in the past. P&W wants the competition phase to come to an end because the pricing hasn’t yet been settled. A competitor threatens the monopoly pricing stage.

OK, so here’s to a stupid question.
No one has the ability to gain air superiority over us with our current aircraft, you know the ones that were designed on a drafting table with slide-rules, the F-15, F-16, and F/A-18, etc. Yet we are sinking hundreds of billions into developing new fighters that will have no competition as far as design, yet will cost enormous amounts of money to build, fly, and maintain as compared to our current air fleet. We have already pissed away hundreds of billions developing these flying farces and they really present no better reality over what we already have with the possible exception of their stealth capability, but that is marginal at best considering the limitations the aircraft have and the maintenance required to keep them stealthy.
So my stupid question is; why, besides to prop up our military-industrial complex, do we need the F-22 and F-35 again?

Joe, I think you need to be corrected. I work on the JSF Program and the F135 is being redesigned. There latest version of their F135 is down at AEDC right now. The F135 is being redesigned, not the F136. The failures the F136 had last year are things you would expect under SDD and the F135 had similar failures. The major difference is the F135 has to be redesigned for performance reasons where the F136 does not. Ask you friends at Lockheed about the tests they could not do because the F135 could not perform.

There was NO competition! P&W was GIVEN the contract with no competition. What is “idiotic and unneccessary” is to give one company a monopoly on the one engine which will serve all branches of military service and our allies for the next 30 years. National defense is at stake here, not to mention the savings of taxpayers money when we have competition!

I’m with you on that one… I think we should’ve just spent the money on keeping up the fleet we already have…hell , even bring back the Tomcat, and modernize it… we’d be “money ahead”…instead of pissed away.

Better yet…just pay them with monopoly money instead, until they have proven themselves.

GE controls, according to the Houston Chronicle 90% of the military jet engine market here in the US — talk about a monopoly

Read more: http://​www​.dodbuzz​.com/​2​0​1​1​/​0​2​/​1​4​/​g​e​-​s​t​r​i​k​e​s​-​a​fte

I agree, it isn’t so simple to JUST swap out an engine from another maker. The logistics would be a nightmare on an aircraft carrier with limited space.

If GE wants in on the Foreign sales, then let them fund it, not the US Tax payer.

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