Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Wednesday revealed a new reason why the Pentagon wants to drop the General Electric-Rolls Royce F-136 engine from the F-35 strike fighter program: its performance. “We think that the current engine that GE is offering probably does not meet the performance standards that are required,” Gates told members of the Senate Appropriations Committee’s defense panel during an oversight hearing. Further, “the taxpayer would be required to pay for any enhancement that would bring it up to the performance standards.”
In a nighttime ceremony contrived to continue concealment of many of its features, the new B-21 bomber rolled out of Northrop Grumman's Palmdale, Calif. plant Dec. 2. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the aircraft's advanced technology represents "deterrence, the American way."