Auditors Question Pentagon on Cost of GE F-35 Engine Gates D

All about the Pratt & Whitney F135 and the (cancelled) General Electric/Rolls-Royce F136
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cywolf32

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Unread post16 Sep 2010, 03:44

U.S. .Auditors Question Pentagon on Cost of GE F-35 Engine Gates Doesn't Want

By Anthony Capaccio and Gopal Ratnam - Sep 15, 2010 1:50 PM CT

General Electric Co.’s bid to complete development of a second engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, a plan opposed by Defense Secretary Robert Gates, may cost less than the Pentagon’s $2.9 billion estimate, U.S. auditors said.

The projection “does not include the same level of fidelity and precision normally associated with a detailed, comprehensive estimate,” the Government Accountability Office said in a report sent today to Senator Carl Levin, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Armed Services committee.

General Electric has urged U.S. lawmakers to continue funding its alternate engine for Lockheed Martin Corp.’s F-35 jet to compete against Pratt & Whitney, the plane’s primary engine maker. The GAO report comes a day after a Senate defense panel voted against paying for the GE engine.

Pentagon officials including spokesman Geoff Morrell have repeatedly called the $2.9 billion needed to support an alternate engine program for the next six years “a colossal waste of money.”

GE Estimate

GE disagrees with Pentagon estimates, saying it would take $1.8 billion to complete work necessary to compete, Rick Kennedy, a GE spokesman, reiterated today.

The U.S. House defense appropriations panel in July approved $450 million for the alternate engine.

The estimate was reached not by extensive analysis but was instead a “rough order of magnitude” that with different economic assumptions could either increase or decrease, according to the GAO study.

Pentagon Director of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation Christine Fox said in a response included with the report that the department’s estimate “is built upon a solid foundation.”

Still, “based on the rigor in the methods used in building estimates, the collection and use of historical cost information and the review of assumptions, we project that it is equally likely our $2.9 billion cost projection would be too low or too high,” Fox wrote.

Pratt & Whitney, a unit of Hartford, Connecticut-based United Technologies Corp., has supported Gates’s position. Today, the division cited the Defense Department’s assertion backing the $2.9 billion estimate.

To contact the reporters on this story: Anthony Capaccio in Washington at acapaccio@bloomberg.net; Gopal Ratnam in Washington at gratnam1@bloomberg.net.

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http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-09-1 ... s-say.html
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Unread post23 Sep 2010, 22:48

IF YOU WANT AN ALTERNATE ENGINE - AND YOU KNOW IT - CLAP YOUR HANDS.... (not I but)
[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/If_You're_Happy_and_You_Know_It]

Fact-check on F-35 alternate engine debate By Stephen Trimble on September 23, 2010

http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/the-d ... ate-e.html

"Jeremiah Gertler at the Congressional Research Service has published a very useful document on the F-35 alternate engine dispute. You can download it here: CRS report - alternate engine - Sept 2010.pdf: http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/the-d ... 202010.pdf (0.5Mb)

The report includes a list of frequently asked questions, which I excerpt below. My only quibble is the part that says the F-16 is the only US jet with more than one engine. The F-15 community might beg to differ. [UPDATE: To be fair to CRS, I'm referring to foreign F-15 owners. If this is only about jets in US service, CRS is correct.] But this should clear up some of the most important facts in the dispute.
______________________

Has DOD always opposed the alternate engine program?

No. From FY1996 to FY2006, funding for an alternate engine was included in the Administration budget request. Starting in FY2007, both the G.W. Bush and Obama Administrations deleted this request.

Was there an earlier competition for F-35 engines that one contractor won?

No. Three aircraft companies bid to design and build the F-35. One design used the GE/Rolls-Royce engine; two used the Pratt & Whitney engine. The two aircraft chosen as finalists both used the Pratt & Whitney engine. There was no separate engine competition.

Is this about replacing the existing engine supplier?

No. The issue is whether to underwrite development of a second engine to the point where a competition for production engines can be held. The estimated cost to do so ranges from $2 billion-3 billion.

Will F-35 engine competition save money?

Studies disagree. DOD, the Institute for Defense Analyses, and the GAO have done separate studies of potential F-35 engine competitions. DOD and IDA found that competition would not save enough to repay the initial investment; GAO found that it would. All studies found non-monetary benefits to the competition.

Will the competition be winner-take-all?

The rules for the competition(s) have not been established. In the 1985-1990 competition for F-15/F-16 engines, engine contracts were awarded in annual lots. Although annual ratios differed markedly, overall one contractor won 51% and the other 49%.

Do other military jets have multiple engine suppliers?

Yes. The F-16C/D fleet includes engines from different suppliers. All other U.S. jet models use single engine types and suppliers.

What is the chance that all F-35s will be grounded if they have the same engine?

It is impossible to state. Historically, with the F-14, F-15, and F-16, significant engine issues were discovered early in development, leaving time for the issues to be addressed through technical fixes, competitions, and/or wholesale replacement by another engine. No such issue has yet surfaced for the F-35. It is possible that a serious flaw could remain undiscovered until much later, when a significant portion of the F-35 fleet shared a common engine. There is no way to calculate the probability of this."
Last edited by spazsinbad on 24 Sep 2010, 01:04, edited 2 times in total.
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Unread post23 Sep 2010, 22:53

British Defense chief urges support for F-35 engine By Megan Scully CongressDaily September 23, 2010

http://www.govexec.com/dailyfed/0910/092310cdpm1.htm

"Despite Pentagon and White House decisions to terminate development of a back-up engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the British defense chief is urging Congress to approve funding to keep that program alive to avoid creating a "permanent monopoly" for the companies supplying the primary engine for the stealthy plane.

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., Thursday released a letter he received from British Secretary of State for Defense Liam Fox, who told him the United Kingdom and other international partners on the JSF program are concerned that ending the alternate engine program would cost the United States and its partners more money in the long run.

"We think there are very significant cost benefits to be gained for those of us involved in the programme from continued competition," Fox wrote to Levin, who also supports keeping the second engine alive. "And in the present period of budgetary constraint it is particularly important for us to secure them, especially as the great majority of development costs on the F136 [second engine] have already been expended."

Pratt & Whitney builds the aircraft's primary engine, while General Electric and the British firm Rolls Royce are the contractors for the second engine. Fox acknowledged his country's interest in the program, but emphasized it is "not an industrial-base issue" because most of the work would be done in the United States.

Fox's statements come as lawmakers wrangle with the Obama administration over whether to continue the second engine program.

Pentagon officials have said they simply cannot afford the upfront costs of the engine, which officials estimate would require an additional $2.9 billion over the next six years to finish development and pay for initial production and spare parts. And President Obama has threatened to veto any defense bill that continues the unwanted program.

But supporters of the second engine argue that the long-term benefits of competition could save as much as $20 billion over the life of the program. Meanwhile, a Pentagon analysis released this year concluded that even with the upfront investment in the second engine, the cost difference between buying one engine and having two different ones for the F-35 is a wash.

The GE/Rolls Royce engine has solid backing in the House, which approved a fiscal 2011 defense authorization bill in May that includes $485 million for the program. The House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee's version of the fiscal 2011 defense appropriations bill adds $450 million for the engine.

Last year, the tide in the Senate turned abruptly against the alternate engine during debate on the fiscal 2010 defense authorization bill, and senators unexpectedly voted to eliminate it.

The engine is included in neither the Senate Appropriations Committee's version of the fiscal 2011 spending bill nor the Senate Armed Services Committee's fiscal 2011 authorization bill -- despite the support from Levin and Appropriations Chairman Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii. Levin has said he would prefer to fight the issue during House-Senate conference negotiations rather than lose another fight on the Senate floor.

In his letter, Fox also said he was worried about the risks of relying on one engine for thousands of JSF aircraft destined for U.S. and allied countries' fleets -- echoing statements made by Levin and others.

"We are concerned at the technical risks of making this very substantial programme solely dependent on engine throughout the life of the aircraft with all the risks and vulnerabilities that this brings," Fox wrote.

Levin said he shared the letter with Defense Secretary Robert Gates but has not received a response."
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Unread post24 Sep 2010, 01:00

spazsinbad wrote:British Defense chief urges support for F-35 engine By Megan Scully CongressDaily September 23, 2010

http://www.govexec.com/dailyfed/0910/092310cdpm1.htm

"Despite Pentagon and White House decisions to terminate development of a back-up engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the British defense chief is urging Congress to approve funding to keep that program alive to avoid creating a "permanent monopoly" for the companies supplying the primary engine for the stealthy plane.

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., Thursday released a letter he received from British Secretary of State for Defense Liam Fox, who told him the United Kingdom and other international partners on the JSF program are concerned that ending the alternate engine program would cost the United States and its partners more money in the long run.

"We think there are very significant cost benefits to be gained for those of us involved in the programme from continued competition," Fox wrote to Levin, who also supports keeping the second engine alive. "And in the present period of budgetary constraint it is particularly important for us to secure them, especially as the great majority of development costs on the F136 [second engine] have already been expended."

Pratt & Whitney builds the aircraft's primary engine, while General Electric and the British firm Rolls Royce are the contractors for the second engine. Fox acknowledged his country's interest in the program, but emphasized it is "not an industrial-base issue" because most of the work would be done in the United States.

Fox's statements come as lawmakers wrangle with the Obama administration over whether to continue the second engine program.

Pentagon officials have said they simply cannot afford the upfront costs of the engine, which officials estimate would require an additional $2.9 billion over the next six years to finish development and pay for initial production and spare parts. And President Obama has threatened to veto any defense bill that continues the unwanted program.

But supporters of the second engine argue that the long-term benefits of competition could save as much as $20 billion over the life of the program. Meanwhile, a Pentagon analysis released this year concluded that even with the upfront investment in the second engine, the cost difference between buying one engine and having two different ones for the F-35 is a wash.

The GE/Rolls Royce engine has solid backing in the House, which approved a fiscal 2011 defense authorization bill in May that includes $485 million for the program. The House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee's version of the fiscal 2011 defense appropriations bill adds $450 million for the engine.

Last year, the tide in the Senate turned abruptly against the alternate engine during debate on the fiscal 2010 defense authorization bill, and senators unexpectedly voted to eliminate it.

The engine is included in neither the Senate Appropriations Committee's version of the fiscal 2011 spending bill nor the Senate Armed Services Committee's fiscal 2011 authorization bill -- despite the support from Levin and Appropriations Chairman Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii. Levin has said he would prefer to fight the issue during House-Senate conference negotiations rather than lose another fight on the Senate floor.

In his letter, Fox also said he was worried about the risks of relying on one engine for thousands of JSF aircraft destined for U.S. and allied countries' fleets -- echoing statements made by Levin and others.

"We are concerned at the technical risks of making this very substantial programme solely dependent on engine throughout the life of the aircraft with all the risks and vulnerabilities that this brings," Fox wrote.

Levin said he shared the letter with Defense Secretary Robert Gates but has not received a response."


LOL>... Imagine that huh? Who woulda thunk it lol

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