Too Late for F136?

Reports of development problems with the General Electric-Rolls Royce F136 engine has prompted a new cry for Congress to comply with Administration wishes and dump the F-35 strike fighter alternate engine. Defense analyst Loren Thompson writes in a Lexington Institute paper that the F136 has recently “experienced four major failures,” saying it cannot compare to the Pratt & Whitney F135, which currently powers the F-35 and which was built upon the “thoroughly tested powerplant on the F-22.” A Reuters report indicates the F136 now will be at least a year overdue. GE spokesman Rick Kennedy told Reuters that the F136 team has not received Pentagon funding that would enable it to “scale up” for production. Kennedy earlier told Thompson that P&W “continues to experience significant problems” even “after 10,000 hours of testing.” He said Thompson was “disingenuous” to associate the F136 with a potential budget overrun.