More Alternate Engine Support

In addition to overruling the Pentagon on the F-22 Raptor, the Senate Armed Services Committee, like its House counterpart, is backing the F136 alternate engine—once again. The Senate defense authorizers put $438.9 million in their version of the 2010 defense policy bill to continue development of the General Electric-Rolls Royce F136 for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter. Despite its inclusion in the committee’s markup, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), chairman of the committee’s airland panel under whose jurisdiction the engine falls, vowed to fight additional work on the engine. In a June 26 statement, he said that, like the President, he doesn’t believe the alternate engine adds to the nation’s security, so he will “work with the President to stop wasting tax payer dollars on this project.” A Congressional majority disagrees and has done so for three previous years when the Pentagon tried to cancel the program.