Fund F136, Say House Acquisition Reformers

The chairman and ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee’s defense acquisition reform panel on Monday urged members of the House Appropriations Committee to fund the F136, the competing engine for the F-35 strike fighter. “We are firmly convinced that engine competition will be of enormous benefit to the [F-35] program,” write Rep. Robert Andrews (D-N.J.) and Rep. Michael Conaway (R-Tex.) in the letter to their colleagues. Their missive came on the eve of the appropriators’ scheduled Tuesday markup of the House’s version of the Fiscal 2011 defense spending bill. Over the objections of the Pentagon leadership, the House has already included $485 million for the F136 in its version of next year’s defense authorization bill. The Pentagon wants to proceed solely with Pratt & Whitney’s F135 to power the F-35 and halt work on the F136, built by General Electric and Rolls Royce.