Partner nations on the JSF programme and the US Congress are pressing for development funding to be restored for the alternate General Electric/Rolls-Royce F136 engine.

At a recent gathering of the JSF participants, five of the eight partner nations stood up to demand that $442 million cut from the engine programme between fiscal years 2004 and 2009 is restored. "They stated they joined JSF understanding there would be an engine choice and that has been taken away," says an industry official.

The Congressional House Armed Services Committee in the meantime has voted to restore the $56 million originally budgeted for next year to begin system development and demonstration (SDD) of the F136. The budget still needs to pass the Senate's armed services and acquisition committees. The cut threatens to push back entry into service of the F136-powered F-35 two years to 2013 after deliveries have begun to the US and UK.

Meanwhile, Pratt & Whitney and Hamilton Sundstrand have completed the critical design review for the lead F135 engine.

Source: Flight International