Turkey’s removal F-35 program to cause hike in engine price

All about the Pratt & Whitney F135 and the (cancelled) General Electric/Rolls-Royce F136
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Unread post24 Apr 2021, 09:03

Turkey’s removal from F-35 program to cause hike in engine price
23 Apr 2021 Valerie Insinna

"WASHINGTON — The cost of the F-35′s engine is set to increase by 3 percent due to Turkey’s removal from the program in 2019, the head of Pratt & Whitney’s military engines division said Thursday.

The company’s F135 engine — which is used in all three variants of the Lockheed Martin F-35 joint strike fighter — was initially manufactured with a total of 188 parts produced by Turkish suppliers, Matthew Bromberg told lawmakers during a House Armed Services Committee hearing.

“These are some of the most critical parts of the engine, and the Turkey suppliers were high-quality, low cost,” he said. “Seventy-five percent of them have been qualified in new suppliers. Most of those are domestic here in the United States.”

Pratt & Whitney expects to have the remaining 25 percent of Turkish-made parts for the F135 qualified by the end of 2021, with all Turkish parts flushed from the system by the time engines for the fifteenth lot of aircraft roll off the line in 2020. At that point, about 20 percent of the F135′s parts will be made by international vendors....

...Unlike most fighter engine programs, where a spare ratio of about 20 to 30 percent is maintained to ensure parts are available on the flight line or the depot, the F-35 program funds a spares ratio of only about 10 to 12 percent, he [Bromberg] said.

“The whole program was designed to eliminate intermediate maintenance and have a very robust international sustainment depot system that will be able to turn modules very effectively in the field,” Bromberg explained. “The lower spares ratio, though, is making all that a little bit more exposed than you would have seen on another program. And we have to get through that.”

Another issue is that much of the planning and funding of spare parts, repair activity and logistics processes years before it is actually needed. For a program like the F-35, which has only been operational for a couple years, those plans were based on estimates — not hard data from decades of flying and maintaining the plane.

That analysis left Pratt & Whitney a bit late when it came to fielding certain support equipment and technical data, which Bromberg said has since been delivered. On top of that, the COVID-19 pandemic added about three months delay to the company’s plans to ramp up engine production and sustainment efforts.

“We pick our best estimate. In some cases, you’re over. In some cases, you’re under. All that was in place a years ago,” Bromberg said. “But in light of 2020, we probably didn’t have enough margin.”...

...However, because the services will begin conducting 2,000 hour overhaul inductions in 2022, the program office estimates the costs to maintain the F135 will grow over the next five years, Fick stated." [Best read all at source]

Source: https://www.defensenews.com/air/2021/04 ... ine-price/
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