Pratt & Whitney continues to receive positive support for various F135-related program items on the path toward finalizing the 2024 appropriations bill. On July 27, the Senate Appropriations Committee, led by Chairman Jon Tester (D-MT) and Ranking Member Susan Collins (R-ME), passed a bipartisan bill that included:
- $497 million for the development of the F135 engine core upgrade (ECU), the DoD’s chosen F-35 engine modernization effort.
- $264 million above the President’s budget request for F135 engine spares and repair parts.
- A prohibition against integrating any alternate engine on any F-35 variant.
- $280 million for the development of future engine technology that could be used on 6th generation tactical aircraft.
“I want to personally thank Senators Tester and Collins for their leadership on this effort, because it’s essential to ensuring our limited DoD funds go to the most urgent, high-priority needs,” said Jeff Shockey, senior vice president of RTX Global Government Relations. “I also want to express my gratitude to the Senate Appropriations Chair Patty Murray (D-WA), Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) and the entire Connecticut and Maine delegations for their support and advocacy.”
The F135 supports nearly 55,000 jobs across 41 states and more than 260 domestic suppliers. In March 2023, the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Navy chose to upgrade the F135 versus replace it with an entirely new engine. The decision was announced as part of the administration’s 2024 budget proposal.
“The Senate Appropriations Committee’s full funding of the Engine Core Upgrade program, its addition of $280 million for future-generation propulsion technologies, and language prohibiting integration of an alternate engine on any F-35 variant are critically important,” said Jill Albertelli, president of Military Engines at Pratt & Whitney. “Our collective focus should be on maximizing the performance of all three variants of the F-35, while prioritizing the advancement of sixth-generation solutions that serve our highest, most urgent national defense priorities.”