No “Single Point of Failure”

Hartford, Conn. Pratt & Whitney will not make all of any one kind of part for the F135 engine, which powers the F-35 strike fighter, in a single location anymore, shifting some work, such as blades and vanes, to new facilities in Florida and Georgia, company military engines president Bennett Croswell said in an interview with Air Force Magazine. Although the company was already thinking of distributing such work to get “best cost and best value,” the plan was given impetus during a “sustainment war game” conducted last year with the F-35 system program office, he said. The exercise postulated “a fire at a key manufacturing plant that had the potential to disrupt the supply chain” of parts, he explained. The potential disruption to the program was unacceptable, so P&W adopted a “no single point of failure” approach, Croswell said. Similarly, final assembly of F135 engines will now be done at Hartford, Conn., and West Palm Beach, Fla. Additional capability may be created in Italy and Turkey, he said, where F-35 partners have, or plan to have, an F-35 final assembly and check out facility.