Pentagon Awards $2 Billion Contract for New Lot of F-35 Engines

The Pentagon awarded a contract value over $2 billion for the subsequent batch of F-35 engines to Pratt & Whitney on June 5.

The deal for Lot 17 F135 engines, totaling $2.02 billion, is anticipated to be accomplished by December 2025, the Pentagon stated in its announcement. 

The brand new contract doesn’t specify what number of engines will probably be included within the lot, but it surely does come three months after Pratt & Whitney introduced it had struck a cope with the F-35 Joint Program Workplace for Tons 15 and 16 of the engine, with an choice for Lot 17. The corporate stated on the time Lot 17 may embody 140 or extra engines.  

These engines would presumably not be included in Pratt & Whitney’s deliberate F135 Engine Core Improve—wanted to fulfill the F-35’s rising energy and cooling wants—because the contractor has stated it’s focusing on 2028 to start out delivering these enhanced engines. 

The contract announcement stated a big portion of the cash for Lot 17 will come from non-U.S. F-35 companions and overseas army gross sales funds—some $817 million. Air Power funds cowl one other $557 million, and the Division of the Navy contribution is round $646 million. 

Final month, the Pentagon exercised a $7.8 billion contract choice for Lot 17 of the F-35 plane—126 airframes in whole—with contractor Lockheed Martin. Work is anticipated to be completed by mid-2026. 

The contracts for Lot 17 of each the engine and plane come after negotiations on Tons 15-17 of the plane dragged on for months longer than anticipated. 

Not lengthy after a “handshake” deal was introduced, a December 2022 crash of an F-35B halted deliveries of each F-35s and F135 engines. A Protection Division investigation uncovered a “harmonic resonance” situation, and Pratt & Whitney was in a position to develop a subject repair that allowed deliveries to renew after a number of months. 

Shifting ahead, the F-35 is prone to have elevated energy wants, as Tech Refresh 3 and Block 4 upgrades enhance demand from the engine and the Energy and Thermal Administration System (PTMS), which gives cooling for avionics, radar, and different tools, in addition to emergency energy, cockpit conditioning, some electrical energy, and extra. 

Pratt’s answer to that situation is the Engine Core Improve, a modest improve to the system. After contemplating a wholly new engine from its Adaptive Engine Transition Program (AETP), the Air Power opted to go along with the Engine Core Improve as a consequence of price and integration issues with the AETP engines. 

A current report from the Authorities Accountability Workplace beneficial the Congress direct the Pentagon to interrupt out the F-35’s propulsion improve from the remainder of this system higher to trace its scope, schedule, and value. The GAO additionally beneficial the DOD set its long-term propulsion necessities, a transfer Pratt, a division of Raytheon Applied sciences, additionally endorsed.