Agreement on F-35 Engine Contract

The Defense Department and Pratt & Whitney have reached an agreement in principle on the contract for the sixth lot of low-rate initial production of the F135 engine that powers the F-35 strike fighter, announced the F-35 joint program office on Aug. 27. LRIP 6 covers 38 engines—including the first orders for Australia and Italy—plus associated spare parts, support, and services. The JPO said it would release cost details once they are finalized. However, in general, the unit prices for the 32 engines used in the Air Force’s F-35A and Navy’s F-35C are reduced “by roughly 2.5 percent” compared to the similar LRIP 5 engines, while the six engines for Marine Corps’ F-35Bs are “roughly 9.6 percent” less compared to LRIP 5, according to the JPO. “This agreement represents a fair deal for government and Pratt & Whitney,” said Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, F-35 program executive officer. Deliveries of LRIP 6 engines will begin in the fourth quarter of this year. “We continue to be laser-focused on reducing costs, meeting our delivery schedule commitments, and increasing the tempo of contracting for LRIP 7 and LRIP 8,” said Chris Flynn, P&W’s F-135/F119 vice president. (See also Full F-35 Buy on Handshake Deal.)