Ever since the England memo (see above) hit the services in mid-October, many have speculated how the Air Force would respond. Some thought USAF might choose to kill off an expensive space program or two. Others thought further cuts to legacy aircraft might be in store. Now comes word of another option: Heavy infrastructure cuts, leaving programs intact. That, at least, is what a top Air Force official told the well-informed defense newsletter, Inside the Air Force. The plan is encapsulated in the Nov. 11 issue (requires subscription), under John T. Bennett’s byline. Whether DOD will accept USAF’s suggestions will be determined in a series of late November budget meetings.
The Pentagon awarded a contract worth over $2 billion for the next batch of F-35 engines to Pratt & Whitney on June 5. The deal for Lot 17 F135 engines, totaling $2.02 billion, is expected to be completed by December 2025.