Engine Competition Preserved for Joint Strike Fighter Program -- $465 Million in Funding for GE/Roll-Royce Engine in Fiscal Year 2010
EVENDALE, OHIO -- The annual jet engine competition for the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) has been preserved by the Defense Appropriations Bill submitted by the U.S. Congress, and signed by President Barack Obama. The Bill includes $465 million in fiscal year 2010 for the GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Team's F136 engine.
By continuing the F136 - the competing JSF engine that is already more than 70 percent through its development - the U.S. Congress preserves the annual, head-to-head jet engine competition planned for the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), and demonstrates continued leadership for acquisition reform reaffirming competition to control cost, while spurring innovation and accelerating weapon system readiness and performance.
"Competition is at the heart of defense acquisition reform," said David Joyce, president and CEO of GE Aviation. "We are deeply gratified by 15 years of consistent, bipartisan Congressional support for the F136 engine and by preserving the annual competition. It keeps the engine manufacturers at their best, developing the best engines and value for our military. The argument is simply too compelling for competing engines on the largest military fighter jet program in history."
With funding secured, the GE/RR team enters a very aggressive test period in 2010, with several production-configuration engines involved in the test program. GE/RR is slated to deliver F136 flight test engines in 2011.
Already, the benefits of competing JSF engines are being realized. In September, the GE/RR team submitted an unsolicited fixed-price contract proposal for JSF - a unique approach for early F136 production engines that shifts significant cost risk from taxpayers to the contractors. This fixed-price approach reflects the objectives of the Weapon Systems Acquisition Reform Act of 2009.
More than $2.5 billion has been invested in developing the GE Rolls-Royce F136 engine, including more than $50 million from GE and Rolls-Royce.
History shows that competing fighter engines significantly reduce program costs, while improving safety, reliability, and contractor responsiveness. The "Great Engine War," the 20-year battle to power the F-16 fighter, demonstrated cost savings of 21 percent, according to a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report. For the JSF, that equates to more than $20 billion in savings over the life of the program.
The F136 engine is the most advanced fighter aircraft engine ever developed and will be available to power all variants of the F-35 Lightning II aircraft for the U.S. military and eight partner nations.
The F136 engine is a product of the best technology from two world-leading propulsion companies. The GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team has designed the only engine specifically developed for the F-35 aircraft, offering extra temperature margin and affordable growth. F136 engine development is being led at GE Aviation in Evendale, Ohio (Cincinnati suburb), Ohio; and at Rolls-Royce in Indianapolis, Indiana.
The F-35 is a 5th-generation, multi-role aircraft designed to replace the AV-8B Harrier, A-10, F-16, F/A-18 Hornet and the United Kingdom's Harrier GR.7 and Sea Harrier, all of which are currently powered by GE or Rolls-Royce. Potential F-35 production for the U.S. Air Force, Navy, Marines and international customers may reach as many as 5000 to 6000 aircraft over the next 30 years.
GE Aviation, an operating unit of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE), is a world-leading provider of commercial and military jet engines and components as well as integrated digital, electric power, and mechanical systems for aircraft. GE Aviation also has a global service network to support these offerings.