House Kills F136 Dough in Shock Vote

House Kills F136 Dough in Shock Vote

The power of the Tea Party and other deficit conscious Republicans was on full display today as the House passed an amendment stripping $450 million for the second engine for the Joint Strike Fighter from HR 1, the continuing resolution for 2011.

The vote of 233–198 may mark a tipping point for the defense budget generally. It was split closely between the GOP and Democrats, marking the first time that a major defense program has been whacked under the new Congress.

The amendment, sponsored by House Armed Services Committee member Rep. Tom Rooney, passed just before 2 p.m. today.

Its victory marked a sharp blow to the power of two lions of the appropriations committee, chairman of the defense subcommittee, Rep. Bill Young, and the HAC’s chairman, Rep. Hal Rogers. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who urged House members to oppose the F136, must be deeply satisfied with the result.

“This shows how election of Tea Party Republicans has changed the political calculus in Congress,” Loren Thompson, defense analyst and consultant said in an email. “Proponents of the second engine argued it could save the government money by enabling competition, but members were more impressed by the up-front cost of funding a second production line and supply network.” It also “really puts [House] Speaker [John] Boehner on the spot, because he was a leading proponent of pork-barrel spending that would have benefited his district. He doesn’t look like he’s in tune with the dominant trend in his party.”

Robbin Laird, an international defense consultant who served on the National Security Council, said the House vote was shortsighted.

“Cutting off funding at this stage makes little sense; the engine is virtually paid for and provides significant capability for the aircraft, security of supply and a an alternative team to PW which can help market the plane worldwide,” he said.

General Electric, who partners with Rolls Royce on the engine, tried to put the best face on the vote. Company officials had been watching the vote closely but had not seemed unduly worried about the outcome.

“The House defense bill will be sent to the U.S. Senate, where the debate continues,” GE spokesman Rick Kennedy said in an email to reporters. “We will continue to press the case for competition as the FY11 budget is finalized and as the FY12 budget debate continues.”

This also marks a slap in the face of House Armed Services Committee chairman Rep. Buck McKeon who has supported the F136 through thick and thin. Yet one of his own committee members, Rooney, sponsored the amendment that stripped funding for the program.

This also marks a bad call for DoD Buzz. We had predicted the likely passage of the funding. Now we know just how much Congress has changed since the November elections.

Is the F136 dead? That remains to be seen is all we’ll say after today’s vote.

Join the Conversation

It’s about time. GE is way behind P&W technology.

(1) The second/alternative F136 engine was designed by DoD to lag the initial F135 engine by 3 to 4 years.
(2) If GE believes the F136 will save money (and I believe that), they should front the money themselves.
(2a) They can also have foreign customer order whatever engine they want, not what the U.S. government wants.
(3) Projecting a negative Senate vote, instead of producing a stand-alone engine technology, Rick Kennedy and GE should request the P&W F135 plans and start to produce the same exact F135 engine as P&W. Then we taxpayers would get cost savings!

Good Afternoon Folks,

The Daily Teaspoon strikes.

Byron Skinner

Its about time to start cutting the Military Budget go TEA PARTY!

It’s about time. GE is way behind P&W technology

Are a aerospace engineer Sarah?
Aparently, not.
It’s just a vote to keep P&W is business.

Why a “second” engine in the first place? Isn’t it customery to have spares for the initial product like they always did in the recent past? Hell with that price tag, buy a few more planes??? I never could figure out if this second engine was of the same design and output, or was it another “different” engine all together?
Can anyone explain? Sounds to me like 2 companies want in on the same gravy train of procurements?

Nothing personal.…we all have to make sacrifices in order to get this spending under control, and the MIC is not immune.

If General Electric and Rolls-Royce are confident in the F136 program, they can continue development independently and try to sell the engine the DoD later; but the problem is that GE and Rolls Royce have not been able to demonstrate at any point that their engine design as being superior. Additionally, if limited number of F-35 fighter jets being built at this time, there’s no reason to offer General Electric and Rolls Royce a license to build the F-135 engine as they’re outside looking in.

Companies that build fighter will eventually take the business where the money is. The US cannot continue to use out dated equipment while China is surging forward with development of there own version of the JSF. Congress should look at programs and fund them completely and hold the contractor to the contracted price. If they go over budget the contractor gets fined or eats the costs. Why should small business be held to contracted amount but large companies that work for the government are allowed to charge more for there failed designs.

GE is still selling F110s and makes all of the F414s for the US Navy, plus they have plenty of cash flow from other areas. They’ll be fine without the F136.

If the F-35 is a smashing success, then lets talk about the F136 later.

This is the first fighter program in history to use the premise of two separately developed engines (there were engine changes in WW2 — for example the Mustang change from an Allison to Merlin). An appalling waste of taxpayer funding. This is one part of the program we can all live without: the overall performance of the plane isn’t compromised — so this one can be put to rest.

I take note that Boehner is great about cutting the budget everywhere as long as it doesn’t affect him.

They’re not “allowed” to charge for failed designs but they are allowed cost growth because of the nature of R&D contracts, Cost Plus Fixed Fee (CPFF). The philosophy behind CPFF is that R&D is risky for companies and CPFF is incentive for them to take those risks. Of course it’s also an avenue for cost growth in large due to the ever changing performance requirements that the government imposes on the contract. The Holy Grail is production contracts which are Firm Fixed Price (FFP). Then the company eats any cost growth problems that were not ironed out during R&D.

Contractors, unfortunately, get cost plus award fee for their contracts. Sure they can loose the profit but the government regs still allow them to recover all their costs, including the cost of the CEO and all of higher management. Effectively all they can loose is the profit they can pass onto stockholders. Government procurement officers need to change how they let contracts and make the contractors have fixed price contracts where the contractors have to eat the overruns. On a cost plus contract, the contractor can underbid the contract knowing they will receive the contract and any increased cost. I have been told the company has no more money left in the contract to repay the government their overruns. If you or anybody else on here charged $50K for something when it only cost $25K we would have to repay the differrence but not government contractors.

Go Tom Romney & Go Tea Party! Some of my faith in America has been restored. Now let’s all pay attention to what happens in the Senate, where many good ideas go to die. This should be a useful expose of corruption and reform necessary in the Senate: we need Term Limits and the American People should get to vote on committee memberships & chairs. All you F136 supporters can eat it. One problem: cut didn’t go far enough — we need to cancel the F-35 completely, and pursue other more affordable, less risky alternatives. But this is a step in the right direction. When your whole house is a mess, you’ve got to start sweeping somewhere.

Short of a new program there aren’t many serious alternatives to the F-35 as this stage. More so with the F-35B and F-35C than with the USAF’s F-35A.

I’m not informed re: the merits of General Electric’s case, but it seems to me that if the Pentegon is not willing to support it, it cannot be a slam dunk priority. This is especially true within the following context:
1. a serious national deficit and budget crisis;
2. a military that has a budget almost equal to the rest of the world.

It’s nice to see that the new House does not seem intimidated by the past successful attempts to create an environment where opposition to military increases was automataically assumed to be unpatriotic.

You are absolutely correct. A case could be made for a second engine, if there were going to be 5000 made. Even at 3000 maybe. The absolute rosiest scenario now is 2000, more likely 800, if JSF is fielded at all. If DOD wants to save JSF, they need to kill alternate engine, the B variant, and pour the available funds into A and C. Above all, we need an upgraded F22.

I too am ex-government and a Systems Engineer Level 3 in the Acquisition Corps. I have worked major systems acquisitions, Army, Navy and AF, as I assume you have also. And it is very true that defense contractors underbid a contract knowing full well that there will be development cost growth. And the government is well aware of these games but still award CPFF because the defense contracting industrial base resides in a few aerospace contractors and only these huge giants have the resources to absorb the risks and pass them on to the government. The Life Cycle Acquisition costs of a major system acquisition is split about 20% R&D and 80% over manufacturing, acquisition and Operations & Maintenance (O&M). The less risk in the R&D phase, with the increased R&D costs, are more than overcome by reduced risks and costs in the O&M phase. No risks, no rewards!

There is so much misinformation here it makes me angry. Tom Rooney represents the Pratt Whitney plant in his district. He’s not doing this out of altruistic movites. Every major defense contract has an alternate engine because over the long term, it does reduce costs. It keeps the primary contractor honest on cost overruns. Here is a great article on it that rain here this week. http://​www​.tcpalm​.com/​n​e​w​s​/​2​0​1​1​/​f​e​b​/​1​5​/​c​h​a​r​l​e​s-a–

Look, nobody wants to waswte money, but those of us here with long experiene in these contracting matters know that if you give a company like Pratt (or GE for that matter) a blank check, they will round up to the nearest couple billion. A secondary contract keeps that in check and also lets another team innovate.

Abd by the way, the failures of the first engine of the JSF are rumored to be substantial. Pratt hasnt done its best work on this engine.

This was a dumb, short-sighted thing to do. It’s not conservative to elimenate competition

If the Senate goes on to vote for the pork barrel 2nd engine like GE claims it will, time to vote out the pork happy bums! Hope the Te Party stays true to its original motto like they proved today in the house, but also kicks out some of the whakko jobs who are self proclaimed leaders of the movement. That will bring moderate democrats like me to support the movement.– MV

Tell me that one again when I have to sacrifice speaking English for Russian, Chinse, or Farsi,.…

Agreed: And William C, there are alternatives to the F-35, Which I’ll get into in a hour or so.

Good for Tom Rooney. Rick Scott just rejected high speed rail in Florida. Hopefully, this will be next.

Steve, it is not the same as a spare engine! Yes, they will build spares. This was for an alternative design. Sometimes the “second” engine gets chosen later down the road if it shows some performance benefits over the first. That can be a big “if” when this kind of money is involved.

As a jet engine assembly mechanic for General Electric.… much of what you have read in this forum is propaganda.. Pratt engine was an older engine adapted for the jsf and the GE alternate engine is a new engine built specifically for the j s f … with the proper power levels and performance levels required for the aircraft to compete globally superior. GEs engine is performing and out performing beautifully a test.…. if the United States does not want it watch n see which engine nato purchases .…I would bet it’s a General Electric version .

“Every major defense contract has an alternate engine because over the long term, it does reduce costs.” What?! Tell me names and the manufacturers of the alternate engines on the F-18, C-17, B-2, F-15, F-22?

Providing reliable power for the F35B (and A plus C variants) is a formidable challenge. Pratt & Whitney’s success is attributable too the lessons learned from the F100-PW-229 and F119 engines. The F135 IS a success having powered numerous flights of all variants. F136 proponents talk a good story but are a long ways from powering a flight for the A variant much less the Stovl variant. Naysayers of the JSF and F135 need to get wise to the facts. This program is needed and is going to continue with unsurpassed reliability similar to the F22 powered by the F119. GE should stick to making lightbulbs and bad TV commercials. GE should be happy with their monopoly providing power for the twin engine F18. For all the funding provided to F136 they have little to show for it other than abbreviated test blocks. GE is quick to publish misleading stories about the successful F135 engine. I look forward to many more favorable comments from USAF, Navy and Marine pilots as the F35 is fielded to support the USA and partner countries. Go Lockheed! Go Pratt & Whitney, Hamilton Sundstrand and Rolls-Royce.

Nibbling at the edges.….that is what it seems to me. Republicans rail that the President’s budget did not include cuts to entitlements.…yet the Republicans and the teapartiers go after a second engine? Fiddling while Rome burns.

Here’s a good one: The “head” of the tea party express made an appearance on C-Span this past weekend. She suggested major cuts to federally funded education.…that these programs should revert to State management. She did herself no service in her own quirky inarticulate way of expressing herself. This could possibly be overlooked, had she in-depth knowledge of the issues, but, alas, she does not.…and she represents what? Bring on the tea party candidates in 2012.…split the right-wing ticket and hand it all back to the Dems. huh?

When is the F136 EVER going to run a single Stovl AMT mission? I guess it would be wise to perform a dynamic conversion from wing to jet mode first though. You should count your blessings you get to repair all those F110 engines on F16’s needing attention. The pilots love the thrust but the logistics folks aren’t happy with the maintenance costs and reliability statistics.

Eliminate competition to drive up prices — it’s not change, it’s business as usual.

There is so much manutia floating around it isn’t even funny. If you would take the time to research the issue you would find that the JSF was designed from the beginning to use either engine. It is a huge stategic mistake to put this large a fleet on one propulsion system. I have written several papers on this subject but the masses just don’t get it. The cost for the JSF will go up as foreign countries pull out of the JSF because they don’t like P&W.

It has never been about one engine being better or worse than the other, it has always been about applying lessons learned from the engine wars. You either learn from the past or you are doomed to repeat it.

WoWeeee.…. don’t hate I was just giving the people a little window of truth from the horses mouth.…not propaganda. I don’t know much of the Pratt engines just propaganda I have read good or bad no doubt the Pratt engine is adaquit for the jsf. But as a jet engine mechanic assembler and USAF veteran jet mechanic I can tell you GE makes a darn good light bulb and if I where say a racecar driver I would rather have the V8 under the hood over a V6… :)

You should take spelling lessons and get wise to the fact that GE F136 has no hope to power the F35B. Maybe GE could make a run at the A or C variant but DOD is not going to buy engines from a PSC that cannot power all variants. Good luck making wind turbines and ecomagination ads!

Red herring.

The main issue is why have a second engine for a faulty Just So Failed program that will be lucky to see a few hundred F-35s made before it is cancelled?

The Just So Farcical is in deep trouble. Funny how Gates and his merry band of yes-men, think it is smart to spend tens of billions on hundreds of LRIP mistake-jets before the program development is sorted out. Even after the recent proposed LRIP cuts, too many F-35s are being made until people know what they should know.

And what is the taxpayer getting? A gold-plated aircraft that will be obsolete before it is fielded–if ever. But yeah the alternate engine is such a huge issue for defense spending isn’t it?

Yeah, go ask Chuck Horner why the Saudis ditched all their PWs in their F-15s for GEs. Adventures in customer service.

spelling lessons.… haha I am typing this on my cellphone excuse me and I’m a mechanic not an english teacher. You seem to be a little bit worried maybe even a little bit jealous of GE. Did you know GE helps power 75% of the worlds electrical power. Our jet engines are used to power ships all over the world navy and civilian our jet engines run powerplants oil pipelines and rigs and many railroad locomotives are power by GE engines. And we make a darn good lightbulb.…! ;)

i have to agree, im aircraft engine specialist. i have worked various g.e rolls royce engines with the u.s us forces an saudi arabian prince arcft.. . they far superior than p&w…i have over haul and flight line experience several engine types.…g.e engine excellent engine an would be a better fit for the jsf

Wrong G.E enigein are far superior are far more reliabe they proven . i have worked on several engine types. am a specialist. of overhaul . and flight line.. i have seen ge. r.r engien in action in various regions of the world all sorts of evironment .… this abt pigs trying to get paid. n have been paid off to market p&w .. truth is g.e r.r engine is best fit for jsf.… no need to even have p&w engine .. .. p&w has already failed .. i have seen any r.r or g.e fail on several types of aircraft. get your facts straight.

yep i worked on saudi aircraft they prefer g.e engines because they are superior and proven to work very well in that region i have worked on ge r.r engine over haul an flight line they excellent engine i have seen any of fail .. best exmapls ch 47 chinook they put great strain n the the engines an perform very well even absrobed fo.d an still perform very well .. ge. r.r engine is needed for a superior aircraft.. they need to scrap the p&w engine .. the look the airline jetliners G.e rr egines

This whole airplane is nothing but propping up labor in bad economy and should be scrapped. There is nothing significant about this aircraft. It’s a one off design that provides nothing special for any combat theater currently identified. The cost and time to manufacture per airplane, per sortie, with maintenance and support will make it so prohibitive to fly, alternatives are probably already in works. This is age were scram jet missiles, laser, cyber threats, and cheap hand held wep systems easily threaten this machine. It’s a taxpayers fiasco.



wrong dod did no design the engine,.. they never design the engine… they simply give the requirement criteria to manufacturer.. the engine performance it must meet.. p&w engine has already failed.

am licensed and proven specialist on aircraft engines military an civilian

its about money.. people in the wrong position in gov… p&w should have been scrapped after it failure. r.r g.e engine is the right choice

the f35 is a sucess and deserves the best heart the ge rr engine.. pw has already failed

A start to fiscal sanity. As a 5+ years combat veteran of the SEA Olympic War Games, it is time to understand that there are effective weapons like the B52s, AC47s, AC119s and AC130s and then there are play toys like the F-35, F18, F16s .… The killer of fighter planes is the Russian Air Defense systems like the SS-300 with a kill zone radius of 30km to a 20 km(70 kft ) altitude. Stealth fighters have small radar cross sections at X-band but light the low frequency acquisition radars.
Time to kill the F-35. The time of the fighter plane is over. The days of aerial dog fights at ranges of 300 to 500 ft with guns blazing have been replaced by the air to air missile launched at 7 to 8 miles.

they also power our helicopters that go through tremendous strain and perform very well ie.. desert.. am a engine specialist i overhaul n do flight line maintenance .. ge rr are far superior an well proven

well, Tea Party, you think cancelling the alternate engine was tuff stuff. Well, if you don’t want the dollar to default, better cut Medicare, Medicaid and Social security or we will have to print trillions of dollar and 500000.- for a gallon of gas could become a reality next year.

With all the skirmishes being about people in the sand, or the emerging blue water China fleet, where does the JSF fit anyway as a priority that rates in the melted economy? I need to hear more about helicopters (short takeoff and rugged terrain) capacity and what ever can check the Red Fleet before this or that engine is considered for a manned jet. On the political side, the Republicans can’t claim to be against earmarks and vote for what seems like one, void of facts. Too much emotion and not enough information.

You are incorrect. Both the F16 and the F15 used two different engines, both the F100 and the F110. You can break that down even further into the analog F100-PW-200 and the Digital F100-PW-229, etc. for both engines. We had to alwasy manage the F-16 Block 30/32’s 40/42’s and 50/52’s differently (0 = F100, 2 = F110), seperately by base, Command and Theater to manage spares. One thing the F110 did give us was PW had to catch up in both servicability and capability. THe F100 was a dog for a few years, and having a “dog” motor in a one motor fighter is not so good. We lost quite a few F-16’s early on to chronic bearing seal failures and bad blades. After the second motor came on board„ there was a whole lot of improving going on.

Wow! This has been a very informative conversation, although a few more P&W engineers would have made it more fun. But really, competition is a beautiful thing for the taxpayers. Making a one-time $450M “savings” this year but forfeiting betwen $10 and $20 billion in life cycle savings is stupid. People, even tea party types, need to look at the whole picture, not just what’s in front of their face. Competition — mainly dual sourcing, head-to-head, every year competition — has saved the taxpayers billions of dollars.

So, the smart move is for GE to put up their own money and finish the job. They have a financing arm and one of the most successful and profitable companies in the world. Time for them to put up of shut up!

The F-16 has had two Engines during it’s Production Cycle, one built by Pratt & Whitney and one built by General Electric.

Bill like all the military socialists seems to think that the objective is to keep the contractors profitable. So by his self focused estimation as long as everyone has their monopoly to milk everything is fine.

Who isn’t doing fine is the American taxpayer who has to pay for these setups.

Taxpayer — Sorry, no the cannot (2a) have foreign customers order whatever engine they want. Tha’s not how the F35 program works. If we allowed anyone to buy anything from anybody the program funding predictions would be even worse than what they are.….…

The problem was that to break even, with amount of money spent on the F136 and the quantity of planes being built for the Government the F135 needs end up with a cost $4M less than it initially started with. In reality its cost has only come down by a bout $1.5M, meaning we have buy 2.5 engines for every plane, or that many more planes, to use the savings to justify the extra R&D. So as it stands we have spent $3 Billion to save $1.5 Billion.

This also raises a question about longterm health of the industry. That $1.5 Billion “saved” would have been someone’s profits and at a time where the Government wants companies to put more into independent R&D, they need those types of profits to have extra cash to make those investments.

Then there is the other hypothetical; how much better would the F135 have been if the same $3B had been spent to further improve it?

The XB47? is flying, now I wonder — The Navy may not even need JSF anymore.

But in the beginning of the fly offs, both manufactures flew both engines and PW won.

Wrong.… they had no flyoff GE had no engine yet the contract was given to Pratt without a flyoff.

Dude, are you drunk?

I believe the whole concept of manned aircraft is already obsolete. I can’t see a future that allows for 3000 JSF’s when the sky will be full of UAV’s waiting for a boot to call in a target. Making the argument about which engine much ado about nothing.

Slashing $450M from a $3.82T budget is enough to fund the federal government for 1 hour, 1 minute, 55 seconds.

The new light bulbs will be produced in China. So, your CEO will be cutting jobs (oops, did I let the cat out of the bag?). So, GE jet engine assembly mechanic; I would worry about GE’s future for American jobs! Big profits are in China!

Oblatski like all welfare queens has the objective of stripping as much funding from the DoD and private industry as humanly possible in the hopes that some of it will be diverted into his pocket by his beloved political leaders.

A quick glance at GE which is a massive company should show you there is no danger of P&W establishing a monopoly on engines. Of course this would involve effort on your part, something you have avoided your entire life while blaming others.

Attention has been paid to more than just X-band radar. SAM threats has always been a major concern when it comes to stealth.

When it comes down to it all the USAF needs a stealthy, high-end, air-superiority fighter like the F-22 and a stealthy, lower cost, single engine design to replace the F-16. The F-35A was supposed to fill that role.

The Navy on the other hand could really use a stealthy, high-end, strike fighter for both air-superiority and ground attack missions. The F-35C isn’t the most ideal for them but it’s better than nothing.

You could argues the Marines don’t need the Harrier or a replacement for it, but they are fighting tooth and nail for the F-35B.

Yet another program cancelled at the end of development just before it went into production. Meanwhile, ATK continues work on the “cancelled” NASA Constellation rocket program, because there is still profit to be made off those development funds. It’s good to see these “tea partiers” have our back.

It is a huge strategic mistake to commit to an unproven JSF to begin with, planning for 2000+ procurement of an aircraft that has not demonstrated success in any cost, schedule, or performance measure. The lesson learned for everyone should be BETTER RISK MANAGEMENT through improvement of incremental designs, and DIVERSIFICATION of investments — so that if any one investment fails, we do not paint ourselves into a corner, overly committed to a fubar program like JSF.

>A quick glance at GE which is a massive company should show you there is no danger

Like I said Bill — Keeping the defense contractors safe from competition is your priority number one.

So which contractor do you work for again Bill ?

Ohhhh thats a good one! I’ll bet ole boner damn near had a heart attack on this one. The tea heads just won’t play ball with him. Second engine for one plane, makes no sense anyway.

Yes same argument was used by soviet economists to prove that the inefficiencies of competition will doom capitalism.

The assumption that the price of the F135 will stay the same is a joke. As soon as GE is out of the picture P&W will start the ramp up process. The game is well practiced a range of excuses will be used to raise the price as the DoD is faced with no alternative by to capitulate to P&W.

We can’t afford $1.8B for F136 but we can afford:
– $30B in F-35 SDD overruns
– another $4.6B on the doomed F-35B science project
– Projected total acquisition cost increase approaching $200B
– P&W monopoly pricing for the next 40 years based on a sole source non-competitive award…

Penny Wise Pound Foolish. Gates needs to go and the sooner the better! Same for the entire F(ubar)-35 program. What a tragic waste of resources.

Yeah but a few other states want it cause it create a whole bunch of jobs, one private invester said he spend money on it because of it’s potential. Theres got to be a better way to get around in this country other flying, flying has become a pain in the rectum, if you like it, then fly, if you dont like to fly, take the train. I’d ride the train for the hell of it even if I didn’t have a reason to. But I have two, flying has become a pain in the butt…and it’s too expensive for the service you get.

Politics aside, you base this opinion on what, exactly? It certainly isn’t anything factual.

Try again… PW is correct. No fighter has entered service with 2 engines from the outset. Upgrades or new engines were brought in after the aircraft was in service and was being block upgraded or a new varient was being fielded.

Talking about reliability and the F119 engine in the same sentance is laughable. This is the same engine that won the contract due to political pressure and then couldn’t perform up to spec without a major redesign of the main fan.

What can you say about a fighter jet that not only enters service without any weapons but without even a HUD And a flight air data system that wasn’t built to the needed quality — you can say it must be the F35.

This is the best of both worlds — if the lemon crashes you just claim it is still in development. Meanwhile not only do the contractors not have to wait for the annoying testing process to complete before racking up production profits, but every fault found is another glorious rework bill.
The production/testing phase probably will last a decade perhaps longer. No wonder Lockheed executives cant stop grinning.

Seems like nobody was around at the start of the “Great Engine War”. If you were remember all the F15’s sitting on the USAF flight line with no Pratt engines. Note in todays world 80% of 16’s flying today are GE F110 powered. New F15’s being built for overseas customers have GE engines, why because they are a better engine. Saudi F15’s with Pratt engine are being reengined with GE F110 engines. Pratt has engines in F22’s, C17’s Navy’s X47 in development and the F35. What happens to Americas defense when Pratt & Whitney goes out on strike? They’ve done it before.

Have you served your country in war? Our poor troops.

That’s why we need to go to an incentivized system. All corporate CEOs and their manufacturing and financial staffs should get paid on a commission basis. If the aircraft works as advertised, come in on schedule and at cost, they get paid. If not, the taxpayers keep their commissions.

Finally somebody knows what is going on!

The GOP slashers propose knocking off $75 million in programs offering housing vouchers to homeless vets going back to the Korean War in which some are in their 80s. Where is the American Legion and other vet organizations on this outrage? I turned my life around back in 1993 with this program here in San Diego with a clean furnished one bedroom apt. and a great $13.00 an hour job. I did not need a voucher after 7 months.

If GE thginks their motor is it then maybe they should front the money and prove it.

I hope you’re joking…

Literally nothing you said was true. There is no valid data on maintenance costs, sortie costs, or at this point even cost per copy since the buy # keeps going up and down. SCRAM missles, lasers and computer viruses? None of these currently have any effect on fighter aircraft nor are they likely to during the life of this aircraft. But… this is a DoD Buzz comment page so facts are not only not required, they’re discouraged.

Your point on the entire JSF program being obsolete in 20 years is a very valid point. Makes us wonder why we are fighting about a secondary engine while China probably has secret plans to kick our ass every which way to Sunday. They will probably have a handheld EMF device that brings all this stuff to a hault…then just beat us with a 20–1 manpower advantage in the theater.

As to the “GE needs to put up or shut up” stuff. Seriously, are you kidding? Why shoud one company be given a blank check, while another told to take a risk and develop an engine at their expense with ZERO guarantee that if its better, they will get a contract. Get serious folks. Have you ever been in any leadership role in government purchasing? Or a business?

@Viper 4, I’m sure you heard the much heralded switch over of ROKAF F15’s to GE Engines a few years back? Well guess what? Now they’re back with Pratt engines! The Greek AF? Pratt!! Egyptian AF? Pratt!! Pakistani AF? Pratt! I’m not sure what you’re smoking but whatever it is, cut it in half! And as far as the USAF is concerned the ratio is a 60~40 split in GE’s favor…not something so huge to crow about if you ask me.

Gee sounds like every FAS sale is P&W wonder how that came about. Soon there wont be a foreign air-force that we are paying for that isn’t P&W.

>I too am ex-government and a Systems Engineer Level 3 in the Acquisition Corps. I have worked major systems acquisitions, Army, Navy and AF, as I assume you have also. And it is very true that defense contractors underbid a contract knowing full well that there will be development cost growth. And the government is well aware of these games but still award CPFF because the defense contracting industrial base resides in a few aerospace contractors and only these huge giants have the resources to absorb the risks and pass them on to the government.

Maybe you could put in a word, I too have the resources to pass all the risks on to the government — just let me know what CPFF contracts I can sign. Weddings parties anything.

My understanding is back in the early 90’s when the yf-23 and yf-22 (now f-22) were going through their protoype development, 2 engines were going through it as well the GE engine and P&W f119. Since the f119 won and is a proven engine it made sense that it would be the basis of what the f135 engine would be in the f-35. GE came late to the table with a paper engine and hasnt shown that it is a superior engine to the f135, Not to mention the problems you’d have getting vtol to work properly.

Trust me.…. I can tell you its no longer just a
paper engine. It’s real and running strong and has surpassed what the engineering team ever dreamed.…..I see it everyday its alive and breathing.…

Didn’t GE just close the last US manufacturing plant for light bulbs?

Pratt&whitney received a$100 billion contract as sole source for the f35 without ever having to bid against ge for the business. Thgank clinton, dood anf lieberman for their help.

The jet engine fighter contracts have been awarded in such a manner as to assure that Pratt never has to bid directly against ge. The deck has always been stacked in favor Pratt & Whitney. Thetrare exception was when Pratt’s engines had to be replaced on the f14/f15 and f16 fighter planes by ge engines.

Why dont all you pratt fans telljus about the lousy pratt engines that they made for the f14,f15 and f16 fighter planes?


I agre this was a shortsighted decision. I’m surprised Gates hasnt learned lessons from the past. My dad used to talk about the lack of educational value of the second kick of the mule. If this turns out the way these no bid deals has in the past turns out, this will be the 15th kick.

Good luck keeping costs under control.

The F135 is 2.5B over budget, has missed critical milestones for the F35, is running too hot, has major design flaws, can not meet super sonic requirments, is asking for 1B more just to finish SDD, will require 100’s of millions in the next three years to modify the F135’s that are flying today and being built today, is going thru a major redesign to address critical operational dificiencies, and has a logictics foot print way to big for the Navy to support. Thats whats wrong today, in the future look for 100’s of millions in CIP dollars to fix what they find wrong beginning in 2012. Additionally, I hope the DoD and Mr Gates have an open checkbook because this F135 engine will wreak havoc like the V22 has, but worse.

Kinda like the F404/F414/F118/T700/etc./etc. Quit your whining!

Dude, learn how to spell. You must be GE’s best and brightest.


Say hey, Joe. TF30 was first after burning turbofan engine. Correct? F15 and F16 were powered by first 8:1 thrust to weight jet engine.if F136 development began at the same time as F135 we would still be flying F135 engines in flight test waiting on GE to figure lout how to do a dynamic clutch engagement of the lift fan. By the way, whose engine powered tHe Streak Eagle? P&W technology and reliability far exceeds the Light Bulb. You can say what you want for this blog but it will be far from the truth.

This to GE Joe … Your comments are ridiculous? P&W is funded for a $100B contract? Who do you think you are kidding? I don’t know the exact number but the current SDD contract is somewhere around $7B and much of that goes to F136 partner Rolls-Royce for lift fan, roll post and Stovl articulating duct. It has increased and is due for another increase to maintain support through flight test extensions.

To: Formula You, GE Joe and Mr. GE Jet Engine Assembly Mechanic are either misinformed or like to mislead the folks. LM has a CTOL jet waiting for your engine. F136 was supposed to be flying by now. F135 is happy to step in in your absence. At least Lockheed is assured the engines return from each flight (or sortie) ready to launch again. You guys are full of bull!

To GE jet engine assembly mechanic Dream on! What do you have for Powered Lift hours on your superior F136 engine? 40 hours? I look forward to you actually running in P/L so the government customer sees your real capability. Or lack thereof is more like it.

Just a question of history? Where was the F-15 alternative jet program? F-16?F-14?A-6? F/A-18? Hell F-86 or F-100. I may be wrong, but the only engine swaps I’ve read about were back in WW2 due more to production numbers(when the USA was producing 500–600 aircraft a month), rarely on performance. This 100% Congressional Smoked Pork. Kill this swine now, hell the first engine was probaly 140% over priced.

Funny the entire B-17 program had one basic engine. B-52s, one basic engine. F-4, one basic engine. F-15s , one basic engine. In fact the majority of all the worlds military aircraft have only had one engine. There are a few exceptions, but not many. Can you say Piggly-Wiggly Souiiee Pig!

To the poster “Taxpayer”


Part 1 / 3

You wrote: “Making a one-time $450M ‘savings’ this year but forfeiting betwen $10 and $20 billion in life cycle savings is stupid.”

What an an absolutely brilliant observation!

Reminds me of when I was young (but not stupid) and could afford already my first “rather good” car = its UNIT PRICE only, but I forfeited all more prestigious cars nevertheless because I was fully aware that at that stage I still couldn’t pay
– for the enormous gas amounts they guzzled,
– for the higher highway fees for them,
– for the high, yearly taxes on them,
– for their exorbitantly high insurance policies,
– for the obscenely expensive maintenance costs of the “good” brands (“noblesse oblige”…),
– etc., etc.
on an every-day basis = LIFE-CYCLE COSTS !!!, as opposed to their sheer unit price, which was already in reach for me.


Part 2 / 3

But I also remember having overheard several, similar discussions between salesmen and clients, and sometimes some cash-stripped clients nevertheless – but very consciously – chose the low-unit-price / high-life-cycle-costs alternative saying: “It’s true… but today I don’t have that kind of money”… (Impossible to beat argument, huh?)

“Taxpayer”, I wonder: Did your thought not even come up ONCE in Congress, at any time, among all your supposedly “enlightened politicians” ?? Since they babble about everything else, too…

We’re not even talking about cancelling the whole God-damned F-35 program altogether ( = REAL BIG SAVINGS !!!), just about choosing a more affordable engine for it (affordable = on the LONG run, of course, one that makes its average flight hour cost come down for decades) !


So here we are now with 107 comments rehashing all the familiar pro’s and con’s of making an alternate engine for the most wasteful, poorly managed, and expensive fighter program in history.


Talk about propaganda…

Who is going to pull out because they don’t like P&W?

The price of the F135 will CONTINUE to go down no matter what happens with the F136. Although cutting the F136 will cause the price to go dow QUICKER & FARTHER.

Who said there was a F135 vs F136 flyoff? P&W has gotten all the LRIP contracts thus far because the F135 has been ready for production while the F136 is still years from being so.

The F136 is still years from completing development… Meanwhile the F135 has been exceeding expectations.

You may have been around but you either were not paying attention or are deliberately neglecting a lot of facts. Like that fixes to the F100 were delayed YEARS by a disagreement between P&W and the USAF (P&W wanted to build improved engines, the USAF wanted existing engines fixed). Like the reason why so many F-16s flying today are GE powered is because with ALL early F-15s & F-16s being P&W powered, most later F-16s HAD to be GE powered in order to even out US inventory (GE did not “win” a competition vs P&W but once it finally had a competitive engine was given ~1/2 the total share) & the early F-16s have been retired.

Not all overseas F-15s have GE engines & I challenge you to try to explain how the F110-GE-129 is better than the F100-PW-229…

Wrong. THe P&W F135 is the only engine that has been ready for production. Once GE has an engine ready for production THEN & ONLY THEN can you complain about it not getting any orders.

Wrong. The deck has always been stacked in favor of GE. Both the F100 & F135 were ready years before the F110 & F136 respectively but politics more than anything else has force the DOD to give GE a share.

The F110 has never been had to replace the F100. The F-14 is a long story but the short of it is that the P&W F401 that was to power it was cancelled for budgetary reasons & the F-111 TF-30 was the only engine even close but was NEVER designed for the F-14 flight envelope (& was only to have been an interim engine). The F110 was not ready until the mid 1980s…

the ge actually produces a little more thrust afaik, but it can’t be effectively used (due to restrictions in the inlet diameter or somewhere else). but it enables it to run at lower core temps which mean prolonged life time oft the engine.

there actually was an alternate engine for the 22, but it was deemed as the greater risk, so the 119 was used.
the f23 for instance was optimized for that engine…

Florescent lights and LED are replacing the old incandescent light bulbs. I repaired both the General Electric (GE-F404) and United Technologies (J52-P8B) power plants and enjoyed repairing the GE power plant. Yes, I know the two are decades apart in technology, but the modular design concept of all newer generation GE power plants are superior compared to all other competitors in the industry both ground and aviation power plants. Still, this aircraft is not needed for our military’s future. Today’s defense industry requires very specialized skills to build weapons systems and this does not translate into more jobs for the masses. Comparing WW II defense industry to today’s defense industry is not a fair measure of helping to bolster the economy as a result of a limited number of employees qualified to build today’s weapon systems. Nice posting.

No doubt about the aircarft costing a lot and not adding toward helping our nation’s economy. Certainly the job requirements to get hired on to build any of today’s advance weapons systems limits the job pool only to a handful of qualified employees. Unlike weapon systems of WW II, defense contractors just cannot hire any ol’ “Joe or Jane” to design, test, and assemble today’s advance weapons systems. The technology is just too advance to trust with an employee without a college degree or high degree of expertise.

450 mil. second engine cut. Ok, can I vote? One Lion?

Perhaps they should havey cut the JSF itself earlier and pushed it down the road… Alot of waste in DoD. The entire Federal budget needs to be SCRUBBED. About 97–98% of the budget is passed forward from year-to-year without being looked at. So there ends up being stuff approved for legitimate reasons many years ago that continue to be funded, yet it has not been verified or even looked at in years. I say take big axe and look at top-level mission statements for every division and branch and give it a thumbs-up or thumbs-down. Sure there would be mistakes, but they could quickly be added back in the budget. I’m sure alot of stuff axed would not be missed and wwe would be better off for it.. T

How can the DOD give the f35 contracts to the same companies which screwed up the f-22 program with cost overunsnetc?

To: Joe1 — another brilliant statement indicating that LM and P&W products should be penalized due to inadequacy demonstrated by F-22. As a taxpayer I am glad the USAF have the F-22 in operational mode. If you do not recognize the lethal capability of the F-22 weapon system you either: have no clue OR purposely want to mislead the folks. You obviously are not talking to Captains and Majors flying them. Maybe your tune will change if Obama approves “no fly zone” for Khadaffi and his thugs. The SAM sites will not know what hit them. Clearing the AA fire will open the door for wild weasels to look down/shoot down. F-22 is air superiority “king of the world.” You should be glad to have them in USAF inventory.


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