September 5, 2007 (by Asif Shamim) - Pratt & Whitney, a United Technologies Corp. company, was awarded a $60 million production contract for F135 engines to power the F-35 Lightning II.
A Pratt & Whitney F135 flight test engine in full afterburner running at the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth, Texas. At 40,000 pounds of thrust, the F135 is the most powerful fighter engine ever built. [Pratt & Whitney photo]
This contract is for long lead-time material covering sixteen F135 engines supporting twelve production F-35 aircraft for Low Rate Initial Production 2 (LRIP
2). LRIP 2 includes six conventional take-off and landing (CTOL
) engines, six short-takeoff/vertical-landing (STOVL
) propulsion systems and two spares per variant.
"We are excited to continue production of CTOL engines and enter into production of the STOVL propulsion system," said Bill Gostic, vice president, Pratt & Whitney F135 engine program. "This contract will allow us to provide LRIP 2 engines to support the F-35 schedule."
This contract is one of a series of milestones for the F135 propulsion system. Pratt & Whitney's F135 recently exceeded 8,300 system development and demonstration (SDD
) ground test hours. The 8,300 SDD hours are in addition to the more than 3,600 hours accumulated during the concept demonstration phase of the F-35 program, reflecting the F135's maturity and reliability.
The F135 powered the F-35 Lightning II's first flight in December 2006, and continues to power the flight test program with 19 flight tests to date.