F136 resurrected?

All about the Pratt & Whitney F135 and the (cancelled) General Electric/Rolls-Royce F136
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maus92

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Unread post02 May 2014, 14:28

MAY 1, 2014
LEVIN ASKS PENTAGON WHETHER F-35 ENGINE NEEDS COMPETITION

"Senate Armed Services Cmte Chairman Carl Levin has asked Pentagon weapons buyer Frank Kendall to review whether United Technologies’ Pratt & Whitney F-35 engines would be rising in cost if second engine competitor existed, Bloomberg’s Tony Capaccio reports.

Levin says in interview he wants Kendall to “just give us an answer for the record,” and wants issue “reviewed by the department and see what their thoughts are on it”

Pentagon reported this month Pratt F-35 engine program had $4.3 billion increase.

Program manager Lt. Gen. Chris Bodgan this month told reporters “whatever acquisition program you’re on,” when in a sole-source environment, “it is difficult to find the right levers and motivation to drive costs down in the program”

NOTE: Pentagon in 2011 ended 14-year-old alternate F-35 engine program by GE, Rolls-Royce Group after years of battling Congress

Levin says he has “no idea” if it’s possible to resurrect an engine competition."

http://about.bgov.com/2014-05-01/levin- ... ompetition

The suggestion by Levin is probably meant to pressure Pratt to resume cost reduction efforts. F135 cost were trending downward, but flattened when F136 development was cancelled. Funny - who could have foreseen that would happen?
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sferrin

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Unread post02 May 2014, 15:42

Fat chance. No $$$. Same reason they killed it in the first place.
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Unread post02 May 2014, 19:21

sferrin wrote:Fat chance. No $$$. Same reason they killed it in the first place.


I totally agree that there's little chance of the F136 coming back. For one thing, that would involve admitting that a mistake was made, something a bureaucracy's high level avoids at all costs. The usual way to reverse course is to say that it's being done because new information has come forth that, "...wasn't available at the time the decision was made". Can't say that here.

Also, can't just pick up where we left off three years ago, it would be really, really expensive to recreate all that.

Must admit, though, that I don't think that $$$ was the main reason it was killed. It was always known that there would be an investment at the front end with the hope to make it up at the back end by having competition for annual buys. Besides GE/Rolls offered to finance the rest of the R&D themselves. My personal belief is that one team's supporters and lobbyists were more effective than the other. That, and taking advantage of the arrival of a lot of freshmen Congresscritters who hadn't been there to see how and why the concept of the alternate engine came to be, and so they could characterize it as pork.

Ah well, it's moot now.
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sprstdlyscottsmn

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Unread post02 May 2014, 20:02

To me the biggest problem that that it couldn't be a competition the way the F100 F110 was. The F136 had to have the same diemensions and performance as the F135 in every way. It was supposed to be transparent to the pilot what engine was installed. So what was the point? See if one company can exactly match a competitor for less money?
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Unread post03 May 2014, 02:00

sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:To me the biggest problem that that it couldn't be a competition the way the F100 F110 was. The F136 had to have the same diemensions and performance as the F135 in every way. It was supposed to be transparent to the pilot what engine was installed. So what was the point? See if one company can exactly match a competitor for less money?


For major details, I'd recommend you peruse the pages of the F135 versus F136 topic.

Briefly, this would be more competitive than the successful F100/F110 situation. In the prior case, while those two engines were competing to power the same aircraft they weren't really interchangeable. You needed different tools, the maintenance procedures differed and you flew them different, especially because initially the F110 was available with a lot more thrust.

In the case of F135/F136, initially the engines would be more similar to the user community. Maintenance at the unit level would be performed using the same standard tool kit and would be 100% interchangeable in the jet. The F136 even used the same engine transport trailer and dolly. The only thing different for the maintainer would have been the location of the oil tank and some of the borescope plugs. At at the depot that there would be differences in tooling, but since the manufacturers would be running the depots as part of the engine contract anyway, that wasn't a problem.

The plan was that the Pratt engine was a derivative of the F119, so it could be available sooner and wouldn't be a pacing item for the program. Therefore, it was the sole engine specified for Lots 1-5. Starting with Lot 6, IIRC, the buys would be competed. That's one of the reason the cancellation of the F136 was pushed so hard in 2011, it was scheduled to fly in an F-35 later that year I believe.

Pratt would have the advantage of starting earlier, being in production and operational. GE's engine would benefit from being designed around the F-35 (it was not a YF-120 derivative) from the start and could take advantages of developments in the program that occurred in Lightning development. For example, from the very first it could make full use of the increased airflow that could be provided by the revised F-35 intakes. GE was touting its technology as being more advanced, with improvements in fuel burn and durability and potentially more growth.

The idea was that with two companies competing for annual buys for new aircraft as well as replacement engines (hence the requirement for more interchangeability), both would be incentivized to offer the best they could in terms of price and performance. With only one manufacturer, the gov't would have nowhere else to go if said company got lazy.

Again, I recommend you check out the F135 vs F136 topic for some fascinating discussions.
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Unread post03 May 2014, 16:40

Thanks for filling me in.
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Unread post17 Jul 2014, 00:24

Senate Panel Suggests Restarting GE F-35 Engine Program
By Tony Capaccio Jul 16, 2014

"Pentagon leaders should consider reviving the effort to build an alternative to the United Technologies Corp. (UTX) Pratt and Whitney engines now powering the F-35 jet, said a Senate spending panel.

Since then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates killed a 14-year-old General Electric Co. (GE) alternative engine program in 2011, the Pratt and Whitney engine “has experienced numerous problems, including the failure of an oil flow management valve and pre-take-off fire” in June that caused the grounding of 97 jets, according to a section of a report obtained by Bloomberg News.

Nor has Pratt and Whitney’s per-engine unit cost “declined as projected,” said the Senate defense appropriations subcommittee in the report associated with its version of the fiscal 2015 defense spending bill. At $398.6 billion, including $68.6 billion for the engines, the F-35 is the Pentagon’s costliest weapons program...."

"The Pentagon in May 2011 “assured the committee that a second engine was no longer necessary as a hedge against the failure of the main” engine, it said. “The department also stated that the financial benefits, such as savings from competition, were small, if they existed at all,” said the report.

The committee believes that, had the alternate engine program continued beyond 2011, “competition would have incentivized” Pratt and Whitney “to find creative methods to drive down prices and ensure timely delivery of a high-quality product,” the report says."

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-07-1 ... ogram.html


Non-binding of course.
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Unread post17 Jul 2014, 10:02

maus92 wrote:Senate Panel Suggests Restarting GE F-35 Engine Program
By Tony Capaccio Jul 16, 2014

"Pentagon leaders should consider reviving the effort to build an alternative to the United Technologies Corp. (UTX) Pratt and Whitney engines now powering the F-35 jet, said a Senate spending panel.

Since then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates killed a 14-year-old General Electric Co. (GE) alternative engine program in 2011, the Pratt and Whitney engine “has experienced numerous problems, including the failure of an oil flow management valve and pre-take-off fire” in June that caused the grounding of 97 jets, according to a section of a report obtained by Bloomberg News.

Nor has Pratt and Whitney’s per-engine unit cost “declined as projected,” said the Senate defense appropriations subcommittee in the report associated with its version of the fiscal 2015 defense spending bill. At $398.6 billion, including $68.6 billion for the engines, the F-35 is the Pentagon’s costliest weapons program...."

"The Pentagon in May 2011 “assured the committee that a second engine was no longer necessary as a hedge against the failure of the main” engine, it said. “The department also stated that the financial benefits, such as savings from competition, were small, if they existed at all,” said the report.

The committee believes that, had the alternate engine program continued beyond 2011, “competition would have incentivized” Pratt and Whitney “to find creative methods to drive down prices and ensure timely delivery of a high-quality product,” the report says."

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-07-1 ... ogram.html


Non-binding of course.

Confirmed.

http://www.defensenews.com/article/2014 ... /307160034
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sferrin

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Unread post17 Jul 2014, 13:13

The stupidity never ends. Where was the F-4's second engine type? Or the B-1Bs? Or B-52s? Or C-17s? Or F-14s? Super Hornets? Gripens? Rafales? Typhoons?
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Unread post17 Jul 2014, 15:23

sferrin wrote:The stupidity never ends. Where was the F-4's second engine type? Or the B-1Bs? Or B-52s? Or C-17s? Or F-14s? Super Hornets? Gripens? Rafales? Typhoons?



The F-14s was held up by congress, and the B-52s are caught in a permanent stalemate over if spending 50 million per plane to re-engine them can ever be recouped in fuel.
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Unread post17 Jul 2014, 16:05

Spending billion$ to save million$ does not make sense.

Paying for 2 engine programs over the life cycle of the F-35 will do nothing but drive costs up significantly.

This has been rehashed here numerous times.

Two engines in the same service does nothing to lessen costs, it actually drives them up and increases the aircraft's logistical footprint.

I think the USAF learned this with the F-16 fleet. How would the USN or USMC feel about having to field spares and equipment for 2 different motors?

If they move to reinstate the F136 now, they could well doom the entire thing due to the added costs.

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Unread post17 Jul 2014, 16:09

sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:B-52s are caught in a permanent stalemate over if spending 50 million per plane to re-engine them can ever be recouped in fuel.


If they had done this when first proposed it would be paid for by now!

Don't consider just the fuel; maintenence costs for the TF33 is outrageous and will continue to go up as they age. New engines will last 4 as long between overhauls and be cheaper to maintain due to commercial engine equivalents in active use.

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Unread post17 Jul 2014, 16:37

If GE/RR had self-funded F136 development after they were chopped, they'd look like heroes right now. They didn't.

They didn't, probably because they realized that their level of investment wouldn't yield a product sufficiently distinct from Pratt's to win enough sales to justify the cost of self-funding. By self-funding, the cost of the F136 would've increased and diminished the room for competitive pricing between the 2 engines.

FFS, GE and Pratt both built the same F404 engine and the price still didn't improve, and that's with Pratt getting a free product. Second source is not a magical solution to price or quality, the only thing it's guaranteed to fix is sole sourcing not the woes of sole sourcing.
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Unread post17 Jul 2014, 16:58

sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:
sferrin wrote:The stupidity never ends. Where was the F-4's second engine type? Or the B-1Bs? Or B-52s? Or C-17s? Or F-14s? Super Hornets? Gripens? Rafales? Typhoons?



The F-14s was held up by congress, and the B-52s are caught in a permanent stalemate over if spending 50 million per plane to re-engine them can ever be recouped in fuel.



In neither case could the aircraft have accepted either engine. Apples/Oranges.
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Unread post17 Jul 2014, 22:34

sferrin wrote:
sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:
sferrin wrote:The stupidity never ends. Where was the F-4's second engine type? Or the B-1Bs? Or B-52s? Or C-17s? Or F-14s? Super Hornets? Gripens? Rafales? Typhoons?



The F-14s was held up by congress, and the B-52s are caught in a permanent stalemate over if spending 50 million per plane to re-engine them can ever be recouped in fuel.



In neither case could the aircraft have accepted either engine. Apples/Oranges.

??? The F-14 DID get their engines, way too late. The airframe was designed with a 25,000+lbth engine in mind.
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