F135Afterburner (1)

PARIS AIR SHOW: Pratt & Whitney has refused to disclose the price of its F135 engines for the F-35 for quite a while, even while Lockheed Martin boasted it would bring down the price of the Joint Strike Fighter to $80 million a copy — including engine. Now we know why. At a Monday briefing… Keep reading →

WASHINGTON: One of the most entertaining, compelling and raucous battles ever to rock the Pentagon and Capitol Hill is officially over. General Electric and Rolls Royce today formally declared dead the F-136 engine program for the Joint Strike Fighter.

Those who supported the “alternate” or “second” engine will never shy sway from pledging their troth, as Rep. Buck McKeon, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, made clear today with this statement. “I am disappointed that the uncertainty regarding the future of our military budget, and the Joint Strike Fighter program in particular, have forced GE and Rolls Royce to discontinue self-funded development for a competitive engine for the F-35. This development is a blow to common-sense acquisition reform at the Department of Defense,” he said. Keep reading →

Leon Panetta, President Obama’s nominee to succeed Defense Secretary Robert Gates, faces significant challenges in using a declining defense budget to support an aging military fleet. Our national debt has put us on an unsustainable path. As the new Secretary of Defense, Mr. Panetta must reconcile the need to reduce defense spending while equipping our military men and women with the best weapons systems.

As president of the GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team (FET) and general manager of the F136 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) engine program, I know all about spending cuts. Dramatic budget pressures drove Congress to cancel our JSF engine after 14 years of bipartisan support, thus forfeiting billions of dollars in savings down the road through competing JSF engines. Keep reading →