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Proposed Termination of Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) F136 Alternate Engine

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Congressional rept.

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The Department of Defenses DOD FY2009 budget proposes to cancel the F136 alternate engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter JSF, a program that was initiated by Congress in the FY1996 Defense Authorization Act, and which has received consistent congressional support since its inception. DOD also proposed terminating the F136 in both its FY2007 and FY2008 budgets however, Congress rejected both of these proposals. In FY1996, defense authorization conferees H.Rept. 104-450, Sec. 213 expressed their concern over a lack of engine competition in the JSF program and directed DOD to ensure that the program provides for adequate engine competition. p.7061. In FY1998, authorization conferees H.Rept. 105-340, Sec. 213 directed DOD to certify that the Joint Strike Fighter Program contains sufficient funding to carry out an alternate engine development program that includes flight qualification of an alternate engine in a joint strike fighter airframe. p.33 Since its inception in 1997, both DOD and Congress have funded 2.1 billion for the Joint Strike Fighter alternate engine program. The alternate engine program is expected to need an additional 1.3 billion through 2013 to complete the development of the F136 engine. Some have criticized DOD and the Air Force for being short-sighted with its proposal to terminate the F136 alternate engine. Critics of the decision, not to mention OSD and the Air Force itself during testimony before Congress, note that it was driven more by immediate budget pressures on the department rather than long term pros and cons of the F136 engine program. Others applaud this decision, and say that single source engine production contracts have been the norm, not the exception. Long-term engine affordability, they claim, is best achieved by procuring engines through multiyear contracts from a single source.

Subject Categories:

  • Attack and Fighter Aircraft
  • Jet and Gas Turbine Engines

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