Restoring the F136 Engine, Again

The 2010 defense policy bill, just passed by the House, has authorized $430 million to continue development and another $130 million for procurement of the General Electric-Rolls Royce F136 engine, again trumping DOD’s pursuit of only the Pratt & Whitney F135 for the F-35. The companion spending bill also likely will sustain the alternate engine. The Hill reports Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) still backs the F136. And, Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) has said conferees likely will agree to keep the F136. News reports of a problem during F136 testing, characterized to the Daily Report by GE as “some turbine damage” discovered after a three-hour test run by a planned bore scope scan, are not likely to dissuade lawmakers. GE said further inspection of the test engine is ongoing, but it believes it knows what caused the problem. The F135 also just suffered a test issue.