Pratt & Whitney F135 Engine

Third Party Comments

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) admitted last week that the alternate engine is about job creation. Our national security is too important to be just another jobs program. We should cut the alternate engine because w e cannot afford it.
Ryan Alexander, President, Taxpayers for Common Sense, The Washington Post, June 14, 2010

Let's put this $485 million in perspective. Remember the Bridge to Nowhere? That symbol of Republican earmark excess, which sparked so much outrage back in 2005, would have cost federal taxpayers a little more than $350 million. Cantor and others arguing for the second engine say the competition could lead to major savings down the line. That's a weak rationale and an uncertain promise.
The Roanoke Times, Editorial, June 13, 2010

What this is really about is protecting jobs in congressional districts where the redundant engine would be built. In other words, it's an earmark. It's the sort of wasteful spending that plays well at home, but these are not the kinds of jobs America needs, and the president was right to promise a veto.
Chicago Tribune Editorial, June 11, 2010

President Obama and Defense Secretary Robert Gates are trying to curtail wasteful defense projects, which in many cases are nothing more than congressional earmarks that are laundered through the Pentagon. Such projects thus acquire a “national security” sheen that makes them tough to fight.
Jay Bookman, The Atlanta Journal Constitution, June 7, 2010

Never mind that Pratt & Whitney's engines are working just fine. Never mind that the Defense Department, according to Defense Secretary Robert Gates, doesn't want the backup engines.
The Sheboygan Press, Editorial, June 4, 2010

This was the first big earmark test for 2010, and Congress failed.  Neither party comes out looking good, but Republicans in particular missed a golden opportunity to show that they are really serious about getting government spending under control.
Tom Schatz, President, Citizens Against Government Waste, from CNN, June 4, 2010

This is about money: pork barrel politics hiding under the noble banner of national defense. We owe it to our troops to see that every dollar allocated to the military is spent where they need it, not where congressional appropriators want it.
John P. Avlon, CNN, June 4, 2010

As a former U.S. Navy fighter pilot, I can tell you from experience that our defense dollars should be directed toward equipping military members with the resources they need to do their jobs …Reports have shown that continued funding for the alternative-engine program will limit the number of jets we can buy, which will only hinder the success of our military.
Tom Garcia, Orlando Sentinel, June 3, 2010

But the House has allowed political interests to override nation’s economic and security interests. Defense spending is not the only place this happens, but it’s the most expensive place.
Editorial, St. Louis Post Dispatch, May 31, 2010

They killed $24 billion in aid for states, partially for Medicaid assistance, and $7 billion in health care assistance for laid-off workers. Yet a debate persists over $485 million this year and billions more later for production of a jet engine that the Pentagon neither needs nor wants.
Scranton Times Tribune Editorial, May 31, 2010

I stand squarely behind Secretary Gates' position on the JSF second engine and C-17 programs...As the statement of administration policy made clear, our military does not want or need these programs being pushed by the Congress, and should Congress ignore this fact, I will veto any such legislation so that it can be returned to me without those provisions.
President Barack Obama, May 29, 2010

No matter how many engines are procured for the airplane, the Navy will only deploy one type of engine for the F-35 we take to sea…We have done that for all of our aircraft, and so whether it is the F135 or the Secretary of Defense decides to buy a second engine, the Navy is only going to deploy with one type. That optimizes our logistics and supply chain.
Rear Admiral Michael Manazir, Head of Naval Aviation Programs, Defense News, May 28, 2010

The Joint Strike Fighter has an engine that is working well and successfully powering the plane through all its test flights, while the alternate engine – because of developmental problem – will not even be ready to compete for at least another five years.
Rep. Tom Rooney, The Daily Caller, May 27, 2010

The House Armed Services Committee this month voted to add funding for a second engine for the F-35 fighter despite the Pentagon's insistence that it did not want and could not afford it. Mr. Gates has repeatedly said he will recommend a presidential veto if the defense bill passes with this blatantly wasteful spending, and President Obama should back him up.
The Washington Post, Editorial, May 26, 2010

No, it turns out the main reason lawmakers are thumbing their nose at the administration is because spending billions on a duplicative engine means jobs back home. The JSF alternate engine is Exhibit A in the panorama of weapons systems that congressional lawmakers fund for parochial reasons over Pentagon protests.
Ryan Alexander, Taxpayers for Common Sense, Politico, May 26, 2010

History is replete with examples of wasteful defense spending, such as the $436 hammer and the $640 toilet seat. The latest is a $2.9 billion alternate engine for the Joint Strike Fighter. This time Congress is to blame, not the Pentagon. Competition does not mean buying two of everything. Unfortunately, members of Congress often ensure that losing bidders receive pork-barrel earmarks.
Tom Schatz, The Boston Globe, May 26, 2010

Special interests contend that building two engines fosters competition that will keep costs down. But, this is not a head-to-head competition between two engines of the same maturity. It is a sham competition that would guarantee a second engine manufacturer some of the business at much higher program cost. There is no compelling evidence that having two engines will create enough savings to outweigh the additional costs.
General Mike Loh, The Hill, May 25, 2010

The alternate engine for the Pentagon’s F35 Joint Strike Fighter is a perfect example of a program that wastes funding desperately needed by our military men and women serving in harm’s way.
Raymond C. Kelley, AMVETS National Legislative Director, The Hill, May 27, 2010

File this one under “aircraft engines, unnecessary.” It's an earmark that calls for an additional engine for the F35 joint strike fighter. The beneficiaries would be GE and Rolls Royce, which have lobbied to build what's known as a “second source” engine for the fighter at an additional cost that could eventually reach about $3 billion. This effort by GE and Rolls is being pitched in terms of national security and best practices, but it's really just pork.
Houston Chronicle, Editorial, May 24, 2010

But given our nation's deficit and growing debt problem, lawmakers need to focus on getting the most bang for our military spending, not bringing the most pork to their home districts.
Wichita Eagle Editorial, May 25, 2010

Congressional leaders from Ohio , Indiana, Michigan, and Massachusetts have all lobbied aggressively to make sure there was funding for the GE-Rolls-Royce engine, even as successive administrations have pushed harder and harder to kill off a project they consider duplicative. That's not what Gates believes. "Only in Washington does a proposal where everybody wins get considered a competition.“
A $3 Billion Government Boondoggle? ABC News, May 21, 2010

“There is not a good analytical case that the upfront costs of the second engine would be paid back.” Dr. Ashton Carter, Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics.
Time, May 21, 2010

Only in Washington does a proposal where everybody wins get considered a competition, where everybody is guaranteed a piece of the action at the end. Yeah, we're in favor of competition. But my idea of competition is winner takes all, and we don't have that kind of a situation here.
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Pentagon Briefing, May 20, 2010

The services have not expressed that concern.  We've flown with single engines historically and done so very well.
Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Pentagon Briefing, May 20, 2010

Study on top of study has shown that an extra fighter engine achieves marginal potential savings but heavy up-front costs – nearly $3 billion worth.
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, from Congressional Quarterly, May 11, 2010

I support competition. However, competition doesn’t mean buying two of everything. Plus, no military aircraft developed in the last 30 years has used an alternate engine.
Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.), The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, May 3, 2010

The little engine that couldn't award goes to the $465 million for the alternate engine for the Joint Strike Fighter.  A project that has been in the Pig Book since 2004.  Secretary Gates said that he will recommend a veto of any legislation that contains funding for the alternate engine.
Tom Schatz, president, Citizens Against Government Waste, in his remarks about the alternate engine winning an “Oinker Award” at CAGW’s annual Pig Book press conference, April 14, 2010

This is yet another example of how ‘fiscally responsible’ lawmakers have a giant blind spot when it comes to defense spending in their districts,’’ said Laura Peterson, a senior national security analyst at Taxpayers for Common Sense, a nonpartisan budget watchdog group that monitors earmarks. “His support was clearly driven by parochial concerns rather than financial ones.’ 
The Boston Globe, April 8, 2010

The secretary (Gates) has made it clear … that the pursuit of a second engine, in his estimation is a colossal waste of money.
Geoff Morrell, Pentagon Press Secretary, Pentagon Briefing, February 25, 2010

Split or shared buys of items, particularly from only two sources, do not historically produce competitive behavior since both vendors are assured some share of the purchase. Another reality is that the JSF is designed to support a wide diversity of military customers, including the Navy, Marine Corps, and overseas buyers, many of whom are unable or unwilling to purchase from two engine manufacturers.
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Senate Armed Services Committee, February 2, 2010

The additional costs are not offset by potential savings generated through competition. Even optimistic analytical models produce essentially a break-even scenario.
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Senate Armed Services Committee, February 2, 2010

The solution to understandable concern over the performance of the Pratt & Whitney program is not to spend yet more money to add a second engine. The answer is to get the first engine on track. Further, the alternate engine program is three to four years behind in development compared to the current program, and there is no guarantee that a second program would not face the same challenges as the current effort.
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Senate Armed Services Committee, February 2, 2010

We have reached a critical point in this debate where spending more money on a second engine for the JSF is unnecessary, wasteful, and simply diverts precious modernization funds from other more pressing priorities.
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Senate Armed Services Committee, February 2, 2010

So far in the JSF test program the F135 has lived up to our lofty expectations; it has been there when we want it, and has been no trouble at all. That’s a remarkable achievement for an engine which has to reconfigure from a 40K pound thrust category in Max AB conventional mode, to a 40K pound thrust category with the liftfan spinning in STOVL mode. For me the best thing has been that we simply haven’t had to worry about it! 
Graham Tomlinson, F-35 Lead STOVL Pilot, January 27, 2010

Financial justification for the second JSF engine calls for further spending on R&D and procurement that would later reap benefits by driving cost down through competition in the future. (Ashton) Carter says he has seen no analysis that indicates these savings are likely. He further adds that the investment in the GE/Rolls engine has been ‘disruptive to the Joint Strike Fighter program’ because it has come out of the program's top-line.
Ashton Carter, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Aviation Week, November 23, 2009

“…the GE-Rolls Royce team has had to redesign part of the engine after its fourth test failure during only 52 hours of testing, which will delay the date for ‘competition’ with Pratt and Whitney’s primary engine until at least 2016."
Tom Schatz, President, Citizens Against Government Waste, November 17, 2009

The alternate engine has become a burden to the F-35 program, driving up the plane's cost at a time when all weapons programs are under severe scrutiny due to record budget deficits.”
Loren Thompson, Chief Operating Officer, The Lexington Institute, November 17, 2009

"The evidence is mounting that funding for the alternate engine must stop immediately."
Dave Williams, Citizens Against Government Waste, November 6, 2009

I have seen additional reports that the F136 Joint Engine Team cancelled its planned tests at the Arnold Engineering Development Center through April 2010, a step that indicates this latest failure will require a significant re-design of the alternate engine.
Sen. Joseph Lieberman, Letter to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, November 4, 2009

The F136 engine could be as much as a $560 million earmark, making it one of the largest in the defense appropriations bill.
Tom Schatz, President, Citizens Against Government Waste, November 2, 2009

Congress has been forcing us to pursue the alternate engine for years now and we still do not believe that is in the best interest of the program or the taxpayer.
Geoff Morrell, Pentagon Spokesman, Politico, October 6, 2009

Two presidents, two secretaries of defense, a phalanx of top military officials, and a majority of the Senate have all agreed that this program should not be funded.
Tom Schatz, President, Citizens Against Government Waste, September 29, 2009

America can’t afford this kind of high-flying waste.
Citizens Against Government Waste, September 29, 2009

“…GE is trying to create the first-ever ‘immaculate earmark,’ a designated spending item with no seeable father.”
Tom Schatz, President, Citizens Against Government Waste, Politico, September 22, 2009

There is no wavering among anybody in a decision-making position here at the Pentagon about the preference to proceed with a single engine rather than an alternate engine as well.
DoD News Briefing with Geoff Morrell, Pentagon Spokesperson, September 15, 2009

With a national deficit of $1.6 trillion - three times higher than last year - something has to give. If we are to get out of this, our government needs to spend smarter and cut where cuts can be made.
Barney Bishop, CEO, Associated Industries of Florida, from the South Florida Sun Sentinel, September 15, 2009

…it would cost an additional $2 billion to $3 billion to finish developing the G.E. and Rolls-Royce engine and buy enough early versions to put it on the same footing as the Pratt & Whitney version.
Geoff Morrell, Pentagon spokesman, from the New York Times, September 15, 2009

To the degree to which competitive prototyping is a measure to result in savings for taxpayers, the case for an alternate engine has not been made.
Mandy Smithberger, Investigator, Project on Government Oversight, September 9, 2009

Pratt's engine repeatedly bested a rival engine proposed by a General Electric team early in the program's history, but Congress has refused to let the ‘alternate engine’ die.
Loren Thompson, Chief Operating Officer, The Lexington Institute, September 8, 2009

There has only been one major effort to buy competing engines for military aircraft -- which also pitted a winning Pratt engine against an alternate GE engine -- and in that rivalry, the GE product never managed to match the safety record of the Pratt offering.  Proponents of repeating that process point to savings, but those materialized only after the government had paid all the costs for designing, developing and producing the rival engine. The government has to spend more money to get to the point where competition generates savings, because it is the only customer for either engine so it has to foot the whole bill for both powerplants.
Loren Thompson, Chief Operating Officer, The Lexington Institute, September 8, 2009

Complexity is increased, economies of scale are lost, and in many cases the break-even point for sustaining two suppliers rather than one is never reached.
Loren Thompson, Chief Operating Officer, The Lexington Institute, September 8, 2009

It (the alternate engine) would be an additional cost of several billion dollars.  It would start three to four years behind in terms of where we are with the F135 engine and there’s no reason to believe that that prototype engine, or that that new engine would not encounter the same kinds of challenges and issues that other developmental engines on this aircraft as well as others have encountered in the past.  At this point, based on the business case, we don’t think it’s necessary.
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Bloomberg TV, September 1, 2009

Obama cited the presidential helicopter, a General Electric Co.-Rolls-Royce Group Plc backup engine for Lockheed’s F-35 fighter and a proposal to buy 12 more Lockheed F-22 fighters as examples of military spending that benefits contractors more than it helps U.S. soldiers.
Bloomberg, August 17, 2009

Every dollar wasted in our defense budget is a dollar we can’t spend to care for our troops, or protect America or prepare for the future.  If a project doesn’t support our troops, if it does not make America safer, we will not fund it.  If a system doesn’t perform, we will terminate it.  And if Congress sends me a defense bill loaded with a bunch of pork, I will veto it.
President Barack Obama, August 17, 2009

The Senate voted to support the amendment by Sen. Joseph Lieberman to ban continued spending on the alternate engine. The Senate rejected 38-59 a competing amendment by Sen. Evan Bayh to withhold 10 percent of the funding for the Joint Strike Fighter unless sufficient money was made available to continue development of an alternate engine. CQ reported that “Lieberman argued that the alternative engine would suck up money that should be used to buy more of the warplanes …
Congressional Quarterly, July 23, 2009

The Administration strongly objects to the addition of $438.9 million for the development of the alternate engine program.
Statement of Administration Policy, July 15, 2009

…the Administration objects to provisions of the bill that mandate an alternative engine program for the JSF. The current engine is performing well with more than 11,000 test hours. Expenditures on a second engine are unnecessary and impede the progress of the overall JSF program. Alleged risks of a fleet-wide grounding due to a single engine are exaggerated. The Air Force currently has several fleets that operate on a single-engine source.
Statement of Administration Policy, June 24, 2009

In the FY 2009 budget, this ill-conceived program got two earmarks for a total of $465 million and they were among the 142 anonymous earmarks slipped into the Defense Appropriations bill. In an era of tough economic times and deficit spending, it is impossible to justify spending $603 million on a program that will not save money or improve our defense capabilities.
Tom Schatz, President, Citizens Against Government Waste, June 12, 2009

He [Robert Hale, Pentagon comptroller] defended the Pentagon’s decision to defy Congress and attempt to cancel the General Electric/Rolls-Royce F136 alternate engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter for a third time. “We don’t see a business case [for a second engine]. We think [cancellation] is the right thing for us to do.”
Pentagon, May 7, 2009

In addition, we're going to save money by eliminating unnecessary defense programs that do nothing to keep us safe - but rather prevent us from spending money on what does keep us safe. One example is a $465 million program to build an alternate engine for the Joint Strike Fighter. The Defense Department is already pleased with the engine it has. The engine it has works. The Pentagon does not want - and does not plan to use - the alternative version. That's why the Pentagon stopped requesting this funding two years ago. Yet it's still being funded.
President Barack Obama, May 7, 2009

The funding of the alternate engine project is the poster child for what’s wrong with the defense budget. The Obama Administration has a real opportunity to stand up to the pork barrel spenders in Congress this year. The budget should shut down the engine.
Tom Schatz, President, Citizens Against Government Waste April 2009

I think the JSF engine has matured very well.
Undersecretary for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics John Young, Inside the Navy, April 28, 2008

As far as the Pentagon can tell, there is not a good business case for developing the alternate engine.
Undersecretary for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics John Young, Inside the Navy, April 28, 2008

We'll potentially spend more money and get less return on that investment." DOD could spend at least another $1 billion for "no more capability.
Undersecretary for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics John Young, Inside the Navy, April 28, 2008

Lockheed officials say they are neutral on the issue but stress that they don't want any decision on the engines to add expenses or delay schedules in the F-35 program. "We can't absorb that kind of cost."
Steve O’Bryan, Lockheed Martin Business Development Team, National Defense, June 22, 2008

As for the first F-35 test aircraft, it flew three times this week, Crowley said, and "is performing beautifully."
Dan Crowley, Executive Vice President for F-35, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, February 9, 2008

The (Defense) Department made a decision they're willing to accept the risk" of going with just one engine, given budget pressures and a perceived lack of significant benefits from continued competition.
Air Force Maj. Gen. Charles Davis, Reuters, February 4, 2008

The F135 engine has been exceptionally reliable during the 23 flights conducted in the F-35's first year of flight testing, and F135 engines have completed more than 8,500 hours of ground testing.
John Kent, Lockheed Martin, Inside the Navy, January 7, 2008

“I have reviewed and analyzed many scenarios for changing the acquisition strategy," Pentagon's JSF program chief, Rear Adm. Steven Enewold told panel members during the March 28 hearing. "The department feels that it is low-risk, from both a cost and an operational perspective, to cancel the F136 starting in" fiscal year 2007.
Rear Admiral Steven Enewold, Program Executive Officer, Joint Strike Fighter, Inside the Air Force, March 31, 2006

"I think the Defense Dept. is pretty firm about not doing the second engine," he says. If the joint program office must absorb the cost of "reinventing the [Pratt & Whitney] F135," managers will cut aircraft production to find the money.
Tom Burbage, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Joint Strike Fighter, Aviation Week & Space Technology, September 18, 2006

“That conveniently ignores the fact that the engine has already been competed several times, and each time the Pratt & Whitney engine won. It also ignores the fact that since the government will be the sole customer for the alternate engine, it will need to pay all the costs of developing, producing and sustaining it. Four out of five independent assessments found that savings from competition across the lifetime of the program are unlikely to match or surpass the added cost of maintaining a second source.
Loren Thompson, The Lexington Institute, United Press International, August 21, 2007

"If you have to write a program explicitly into a piece of legislation it has generally failed all the other cost-benefit analyses and otherwise would not have been approved."
Ronald D. Utt, The Heritage Foundation, Boston Globe, July 6, 2007

GE and its legislative backers say the alternate engine will save money, bolster safety and strengthen the industrial base across the lifetime of the program … Pentagon policymakers say there is no firm evidence to support those claims, and want to forego funding of the new engine.
Loren Thompson, Chief Operating Officer, The Lexington Institute, Aerospace Daily & Defense Report, August 21, 2007

Furthermore, the engine Pratt & Whitney will provide for the F-35 is a derivative of the engine already being used on the twin-engine F-22 Raptor, whereas the engine GE will provide has never been used in an operational setting before … Past experience indicates that when new engines with no prior operational history are introduced into single-engine planes like the F-35, they have markedly inferior safety records to engines being introduced from other operational settings.
Loren Thompson, Chief Operating Officer, The Lexington Institute, Aerospace Daily & Defense Report, August 21, 2007

The McDonnell Douglas-led team's JSF will be powered by a Pratt & Whitney F119 cruise engine, the same engine developed for the F-22. "It was clearly the most-affordable, most-reliable and safest option," said Steurer.
The Hill, May 22, 1996

GE's engine business, based in Evendale, Ohio, lost the competition to power the Air Force's new F- 22 fighter. The company also lost the competition to power prototypes of the new fighter. Pratt won both contracts. "Pratt's been more at the forefront with these things because they have a brand new engine," acknowledged GE spokesman Rick Kennedy. "We've been forced to be a little more creative."
Hartford Courant, March 12, 1996

The engine makers hope that their YF120 cruise engine can gain the lead over the F119 engine being developed by U.S. rival Pratt and Whitney, which is leading the competition in the early stages.
Associated Press, March 11, 1996

The contract, awarded by the Joint Advanced Strike Technology program office, could reestablish GE as a major player in the JAST field. General Electric lost that standing earlier this year when the McDonnell Douglas/Northrop Grumman/British Aerospace JAST aircraft team eliminated the GE F120 engine as the baseline main propulsion unit for their JAST designs.
Aviation Week, December 11, 1995

We are going to have a competitive flyoff, with two design families competing against each other and a downselect by the year 2000. With regard to the engine, we told the contractors that they were free to select any engine that was or could be available.
General George Meullner, Interviewed by Aerospace America, September 1995



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