Pentagon Mulls Engine Decision

The Office of the Secretary of Defense is evaluating the decision by Congressional defense authorizers to continue the F-35’s second engine, the F136, over its objections in Fiscal 2010 and whether to advocate a White House veto of the defense policy bill when it comes before President Obama, Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said Wednesday. “The action taken thus far by the Congress is clearly troubling, but we need to gain a better understanding of its impact,” Morrell told reporters. House and Senate authorization conferees agreed to authorize $560 million on top of the F-35’s baseline budget to keep the F136 program alive. The House approved the conference version of defense policy bill on Oct. 8. The Senate has yet to vote on it. Morrell said OSD remains committed to ensuring that the F-35 program “is not adversely impacted by pursuing a second engine.” (Morrell transcript)