General Electric and Rolls Royce announced Thursday that they will “bear all costs for continued development” of the F136 engine for the F-35 strike fighter through the end of Fiscal 2012. “We believe so strongly in our engine and the need for competition in defense procurement that we have committed to self-fund F136 development costs for this fiscal year and next,” said GE CEO Jeff Immelt in the companies’ joint statement. Previously they had committed to funding the engine’s development on their own dime through the end of this fiscal year. GE Aviation spokesman Rick Kennedy told the Daily Report Thursday that the two companies estimate spending “more than $100 million” to keep F136 engine work going through the end of next fiscal year. “The [engine’s] development program is being stretched out, especially given that the [F-35] aircraft program is also moving to the right,” he said. “The objective is to develop the engine at a pace to be ready to compete in 2016.” Continue
Boeing’s receipt of the 10th lot contract award for the KC-46 Pegasus this week leaves just three lots left to complete the Air Force’s buy of the tanker, although a further buy of 75 additional aircraft as a “bridge” to the Next-Generation Aerial-refueling System (NGAS) seems increasingly likely.