The F135 Engine Core Upgrade (ECU) for the F-35 Lightning II won $75 million more in funding in the fiscal year 2023 omnibus appropriations bill, further confirming congressional support for the engine’s modernization, according to the Pratt & Whitney website on December 23, 2022.
Jen Latka, vice president of F135 programs at Pratt & Whitney, stated, “If the services and our allies want F-35s with Block 4 capability by the end of the decade, the engine needs a fundamental improvement.” “Thanks to the assistance we’ve gotten from Congress and Chairwoman DeLauro’s leadership, the enhanced engine will be field-ready in 2028,”
The ECU from Pratt & Whitney is the sole solution for F-35 propulsion upgrade that is compatible for all F-35 models. It will provide $40 billion in lifecycle cost savings by avoiding disruptive and expensive air vehicle upgrades and by utilizing the existing sustainment infrastructure.
“Since production began, Pratt & Whitney has lowered the price of the F135 engine by fifty percent, and for years, the engine has exceeded its original performance standards by twofold.” An improvement is overdue, “Chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee Rosa DeLauro stated. “We will provide the F-35 the capabilities it requires for billions less than the cost of a new engine. This is beneficial for both the soldier and the taxpayer.”
53,000 employment in 36 states are supported by the F135 program, including 27,000 in Connecticut, 3,000 in Maine, and 2,300 in Florida.
*Cover image: The F-35A. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Brett Clashman)