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Aero India 2023

GE, Rolls-Royce stop F-35 alternative engine development

The F-35 fighter.

WASHINGTON (BNS): US's General Electric and UK's Rolls-Royce, which were developing a self-funded alternative engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, have stopped funding for the programme.

The two companies announced last week that they have reached a decision to discontinue self-funded development of the F136 engine for the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) beyond 2011.

"The decision, reached jointly by GE and Rolls-Royce leadership, recognises the continued uncertainty in the development and production schedules for the JSF Programme," an official statement said.

The GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team (FET) had been developing the "competitive engine" for JSF for the last 15 years.

While the F136 engine development was almost 80 percent complete, the US Department of Defense terminated the programme in April this year, the statement said.

Following termination, the GE Rolls-Royce FET had offered to self-fund F136 development through fiscal year 2012, but will now end its development work, it said.

The F136 engine was being developed as an alternative to the F135 main engine being developed by US major Pratt & Whitney.

The Obama administration had campaigned against a costly alternative engine development for the Pentagon's next-generation fighter jet.

Before the programme was terminated, six F136 development engines had accumulated more than 1,200 hours of testing since early 2009, the companies said.

The FET consistently delivered on cost and on schedule, and was rewarded with high marks by the Department of Defense in a successful joint venture between GE and Rolls-Royce, they said.


F-35  Engine  GE  Rolls-Royce   

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