$3.43B for F-35 JSF Engine Development
On March 12/05, DID discussed the multinational F-35 Joint Strike Fighter’s (JSF) engine programs, noting the relative status and strategies of the Pratt & Whitney-led F135 and the GE/ Rolls Royce F136 teams. A $2 billion+ System Development and Demonstration contract was on the way, for production of 15 prototype F136 engines in both conventional and STOVL (Short Take Off, Vertical Landing) configurations.
That contract has now been issued, with some modifications. Meanwhile, the F135 engine team has also received substantial additional funding from the Naval Air Systems Command in Patuxent River, MD, and issued a contract of their own for diagnostic systems.
Pratt and Whitney Military Engines in East Hartford, CT received a not to exceed $968.6 million modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-award-fee contract (N00019-02-C-3003) to extend the F135 engine’s SDD contract by 16 months. In 2001, Pratt & Whitney received a 10-year $4.8 billion contract for System Development and Demonstration to develop the F135 propulsion system through flight clearance, flight test, and qualification for Low Rate Initial Production.
This contract modification will also provide additional ground and flight test assets necessary to meet the revised Propulsion Verification Plan; Interface Control Document and Specification Change requirements; and changes in the areas of Alternate Material Development & Qualification effort, International Partner Support, Material Review Board activity; training software requirements, and GE, Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team (PET) Engine Interchangeability (El) requirements.
Work will be performed in East Hartford, CT (72%); Middletown, CT (16%); the United Kingdom (11%); and West Palm Beach, FL (1%), and is expected to be complete in September 2013.
The F135 is an evolution of the highly successful F119 engine for the F/A-22 Raptor, minus some of the more advanced features like in-flight vectored thrust. The Pratt & Whitney F135 will be the only engine used in the Joint Strike Fighter’s first flights, which begin in the third quarter of 2006. Both conventional and STOVL configurations will be delivered. The first production F135 engines will be delivered in 2009, supporting the F-35’s Joint Strike Fighter‘s introduction into operational service in 2012.
The F135 team has also issued a contract of its own to Diagnostic software maker Qualtech Systems Inc. of Wethersfield, CT to provide real-time on-board diagnostics for its jet engines. The contract calls for Qualtech Systems to provide fault isolation development software tools and an an on-engine “diagnostic reasoner” as part of Pratt & Whitney’s Joint Strike Fighter Engine Prognostics & Health Management (PHM) Program.
Contract amounts were not specified.
Meanwhile, the General Electric Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team, LLC joint venture in Cincinnati, OH received a $2.47 billion cost-plus-award-fee, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the Joint Strike Fighter F136 SDD Program. This contract provides for continued efforts required to meet SDD Program milestones and mitigate technical, schedule, and cost risk, resulting in the delivery of 6 flight test engines to JSF contractor Lockheed Martin. Work will be performed in Evandale, OH (60%); Indianapolis, IN (25%); and Bristol, United Kingdom (15%), and is expected to be complete in September 2013. This contract was not competitively procured (N00019-04-C-0093).
The GE/Rolls-Royce team is two to four years behind (see full timeline) Pratt & Whitney’s F135, which will power the JSF through its first 3 production lots of about 75 aircraft. Meanwhile, this $2.47 billion contract follows the end of the F136 team’s $411 million Phase III System Development and Demonstration (SDD) contract.
F136 engines are expected to enter the competition to power JSFs as early as 2008, and the first production engines are expected to be available in 2011.
- DID – The F136 Engine: More Lives Than Disco? It survived several Pentagon attempts to remove it from the US defense budget, and the GAO’s auditor reports have supported that refusal. DID looks at the issues, and the follow-ups.
- DID – F-35 Joint Strike Fighter: 2009-2010
- DID FOCUS Article – F-35 Joint Strike Fighter: Events & Contracts 2008 (updated)
- DID FOCUS Article – F-35 Joint Strike Fighter: Events & Contracts 2007 (updated)
- DID FOCUS Article – F-35 Joint Strike Fighter: SDD Contracts & Events FY 2006
- DID (Feb 18/08) – GE/RR F136 Jet Engine Passes Critical Design Review
- DID (May 24/06) – GAO Slams F-35 Dual-Engine Program Cancellation