US Government Go Ahead F136 Engine Development

Released on Tuesday, August 23, 2005
United Kingdom
United States of America
A-10A Thunderbolt II
F-16C Block 50
F-16D Block 50
F-16D Block 52
F-35A Lightning II
F-35B Lightning II
F-35C Lightning II
F/A-18C Hornet
F/A-18D Hornet
Sea Harrier F/A.2
CTOL - Conventional Take-off and Landing
CV - Attack Aircraft Carrier
FET - Fighter Engine Team
GE - General Electric
JSF - Joint Strike Fighter
SDD - System Development and Demonstration
STOVL - Short Take Off Vertical Landing
UK - United Kingdom
The GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team (FET) has been awarded a contract valued at $2.4 billion to develop its F136 engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program.

The contract, issued by the US government, will be applied towards the System Development and Demonstration (SDD) phase of the F136 engine program. This SDD phase will run through September 2013. The F136 Initial Service Release is planned in 2012 at which time the first F136 production engines will begin deliveries.

The F-35 is a next-generation, multi-role stealth 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 a GE or Rolls-Royce engine. Potential F-35 production for the US Air Force, Navy, Marines and international customers, including the UK Royal Air Force and Royal Navy, may reach as many as 5,000 to 6,000 aircraft over the next 30 years.

In addition to full-scale development work, the F136 SDD phase includes the production and qualification of 14 engines, seven of which are for ground-test, and six plus one spare for flight-tests. The first F136 engine is expected to test in mid-2008, but earlier risk-reduction tests are due to begin in 2006 using one of the Fighter Engine Team's original pre-SDD development engines.

The F136 engine is expected to flight test on the F-35 in 2010, with production engines available in 2012. This occurs during the fourth lot of F-35 aircraft production, which is very early in the overall F-35 production program.

The FET is actively supporting Lockheed Martin's activities to maximize F-35 international industrial participation opportunities. GE and Rolls-Royce provided a significant number of manufacturing opportunities to the international partners of which six were involved in the Phase III pre-SDD period and are working to maximize manufacturing, engineering, and sustainment opportunities for all eight countries during the SDD phase. A substantial number of contracts issued, on a single source basis, are due to be announced in the coming months, and will be awarded on a best value, competitive basis. In addition, key universities based within the partner nations are in discussion with the FET regarding their involvement in a number of knowledge programs.

Offering unrivaled experience in performance based logistics, military engine depot management, single engine, carrier, Short Take-Off Vertical Landing (STOVL), and stealth aircraft operations, the F136 will be fully and physically interchangeable to power the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). The F136 offers a single engine configuration for all three versions of the aircraft: STOVL for the US Marine Corps and UK Royal Navy, CTOL for the US Air Force, and the CV for the US Navy.

With the infusion of best practices and improved technology, the F136 is expected to exceed requirements for maintainability, affordability, and reliability for all JSF variants, while enhancing the ability of the US services and international partners to cooperate in joint coalition operations.


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