Pratt and Whitney has delivered the first F-135 STOVL production engine for the F-35 strike fighter program. This milestone “demonstrates our commitment to fielding the most advanced military jet engine technology,” said Bennett Croswell, Pratt’s vice president of F119/F135 engine programs, in the company’s release last week. FlightGlobal reports that F-35 prime contractor Lockheed Martin will use this engine in BF-5, the fifth F-35B short takeoff and vertical landing test aircraft. This engine is one of 11 F135 production engines that Pratt has supplied so far. The other 10 are in the configuration for the Air Force F-35A and Navy F-35C variants. Pratt said the STOVL engine configuration is expected to receive initial service release certification by year’s end, meaning it has met requirements and is cleared for use in the field. The other F135 variant earned this certification in February.
While some of the Air Force's newly announced changes will happen quickly, it may take most of Chief of Staff Gen. David W. Allvin's tenure in the job to accomplish the rest, he said in a Brookings Institution event Feb. 28.