Pentagon wants upgraded Pratt & Whitney F135 engines for fifth-generation F-35 Lightning II fighters by 2030
The United States Department of Defense wants an upgraded F135 engine for the F-35 Lightning II fighter jets by the end of this decade. This was announced by a representative of the Joint Program Office F-35 (JPO).
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The Pentagon expects Pratt & Whitney to be able to complete the F135 engine upgrade by fiscal 2030. Officials hope foreign customers will also join in funding the programme.
Matthew Olay, a JPO spokesman stressed that the F135 is expected to be commissioned at the end of the first quarter or early second quarter of fiscal 2030. The powerplant will be available for all versions of the F-35 Lightning II.
Pratt & Whitney says the F135 engine core upgrade will save taxpayers $40bn and represents the fastest way to integrate Block 4 capabilities. Jen Latka, vice president of the US company, previously said that the F135 core upgrade will be completed in 2028 and will require an estimated $2.4bn. Pratt & Whitney has not yet commented on the schedule deviation.
To conclude, last week the Department of Defense finally dropped the idea of developing an adaptive engine for the F-35 Lightning II. The development will cost about $6 billion. The Pentagon has decided to keep the new engine for the sixth-generation fighter.
Source: Breaking Defense