Criticising the US Department of Defense for not consulting the UK before deciding to cancel the General Electric/Rolls-Royce F135 alternate engine for the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), defence procurement minister Lord Drayson says the UK wants to see the engine funded, but will not leave the programme because of the issue.
Drayson testified last week before US Congressional hearings called to examine the DoD’s “perplexing” decision to cancel the F136 after awarding the GE/R-R Fighter Engine Team a $2.4 billion contract last August to develop the engine.
But deputy US defence secretary Gordon England said a second engine would not save money and would lead to delays. “In the most optimistic projection, savings in production would not begin to accrue until 2025,” he said. “In the most realistical scenario, savings are never achieved.”