December 02, 2011The GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team (FET) has reached the 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, recognizes the continued uncertainty in the development and production schedules for the JSF Program.
"GE and Rolls-Royce are proud of our technology advancements and accomplishments on the F136," said Dan McCormick, President of the FET. "However, difficult circumstances are converging that impact the potential benefit of a self-funded development effort."
With the F136 engine development almost 80 percent complete, the Department of Defense terminated the program in April of this year. 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. The FET will continue to fulfill its termination responsibilities with the federal government.
For 15 years, the FET has developed a competitive fighter engine for JSF with the world's most advanced propulsion technologies, including numerous patented technologies from both companies.
Before the program was terminated, six F136 development engines had accumulated more than 1,200 hours of testing since early 2009. 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.
Throughout the F136 program, GE and Rolls-Royce have been leading advocates of defense acquisition reform - offering unique and aggressive fixed-price proposals for F136 production engines for the JSF program.
"GE and Rolls-Royce are deeply grateful to our many Congressional supporters on both sides of the aisle over these many years as well as the military experts who have supported competing engines for JSF," said McCormick. "We do not waver in our belief that competition is central to meaningful defense acquisition reform."