$2.4 billion engine deal

The GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team has been awarded a contract valued at $2.4 billion to develop its F136 engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program.


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 toward 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 for 2012, at which time delivery of the first F136 production engines will begin.



The F-35 is a multi-role stealth aircraft designed to replace the AV-8B Harrier, A-10, F-16, F/A-18 Hornet and the UK‘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 Royal Air Force and Royal Navy, may reach as many as 6000 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-test.



The first F136 engine is expected to be tested in mid-2008, but earlier risk-reduction tests are due to begin in 2006, using one of the Fighter Engine Team’s pre-SDD development engines.


The F136 engine is expected to flight-test on the F-35 in 2010, with production engines available in 2012.