House Panel Wants Second Engine

The House Armed Services Committee’s tacair panel believes that having an alternate engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter will bring significant savings and offer improved performance and maintainability, so it proposes adding $408 million to the Administration’s 2007 defense budget to sustain the alternate engine. DOD officials had admitted that cutting the second engine was purely a budget drill, but they also insisted that dropping it would not pose any risk. Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne did tell lawmakers earlier this year that if he had some extra money, he would put it toward the F-35’s second engine because he worries about the “downstream effects” of having only one engine maker.