The U.S. Department of Defense and Pratt & Whitney have reached an agreement in principle for a production contract for F135 propulsion systems to power the F-35 Lightning II.
The low rate initial production (LRIP) contract would cover the fifth lot of engines, including program management, engineering support, production non-recurring effort, sustainment and spare parts. Financial details will be announced when the formal contract is complete.
“Reaching this agreement is fair and beneficial to the Government and Pratt & Whitney,” said Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan, F-35 Program Executive Officer. “Engine prices have decreased and I appreciate everyone’s commitment to drive cost out of the program. This will help us to deliver on the promise of the F-35 to three U.S. Services and all the nations partnered with us.”
The fifth lot contract would call for 32 install engines, including 29 common configuration engines to power 22 conventional take-off and landing (CTOL) aircraft for the U.S. Air Force and seven aircraft-carrier variant (CV) aircraft for the U.S. Navy; three short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft for the U.S. Marine Corps; as well as three spare engines.
“We are focused on ensuring the long-term success of the F-35 program by delivering on our production commitments, and we will continue to keep the momentum in driving down F135 engine costs,” said Chris Flynn, vice president, Pratt & Whitney F135/F119 Engine Programs. “We share in our government customer’s commitment to work together to accelerate the cadence of the contracting process for the next production lots.”
To date, Pratt & Whitney has delivered 87 production engines. The F135 engine has powered more than 2,700 flights and 4,300 flight hours, with nearly 25,000 development and flight test hours completed. The F-35B STOVL aircraft have accomplished more than 380 vertical landings.
The F-35 will replace aging fourth-generation aircraft for the United States and partner countries with an affordable, sustainable, and highly capable fifth-generation aircraft. The F-35 program includes partners from nine countries – United States, United Kingdom, Italy, Netherlands, Turkey, Canada, Australia, Denmark, and Norway – as well as two foreign military sales – Israel and Japan.