Pratt & Whitney F135 Afterburning Turbofan Engine
Pratt & Whitney F135 Afterburning Turbofan Engine

Pratt & Whitney Awarded US Navy Contract for F135 Engine Core Upgrade

Pratt & Whitney, a Raytheon Technologies business, has won a $115 million contract for the F135 engine enhancement effort, also referred to as an engine core upgrade. The contract award will support Pratt & Whitney’s preliminary development activities through 2023. The F135 engine core upgrade delivers the fastest, most cost efficient, lowest risk path to Block 4 capability for all global F-35 operators. It is the only F-35 propulsion option that is a ‘drop in’ solution for all variants, adding no weight and avoiding disruptive and costly air vehicle changes that would introduce additional costs, schedule delays, and technical risk. The F135 program is a major driver of economic growth in the state of Connecticut and around the country, supporting more than 53,000 jobs across 36 states. In Connecticut alone, the program supports more than 27,000 direct and indirect jobs and nearly 100 suppliers.

“Pratt & Whitney is one of the foremost leaders in advanced technology and defense manufacturing. The recent announcement will protect good paying union jobs in Connecticut, while providing a much-needed charge to our economy. Pratt & Whitney employs more than 11,000 people in East Hartford and Middletown and is a core component of our state’s economy,” said Rosa DeLauro, chair of the House Appropriations Committee.

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“Upgrades like this are a normal part of any major defense program and the F135 engine has been pushed beyond its original specifications for too long. The F-35 engine core upgrade saves taxpayers $40 billion in lifecycle costs and builds upon a combat-tested engine architecture that has more than one million flight hours. We deeply appreciate Chairwoman DeLauro’s support on this critical program,” said Jill Albertelli, president of Pratt & Whitney’s Military Engines business.

The Pratt & Whitney F135 is an afterburning turbofan developed for the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, a single-engine strike fighter. It has two variants; a Conventional Take-Off and Landing (CTOL) variant used in the F-35A and F-35C, and a two-cycle Short Take-Off Vertical Landing (STOVL) variant used in the F-35B that includes a forward lift fan. The first production engines were delivered in 2009. Developed from the Pratt & Whitney F119 engine used on the F-22 Raptor, the F135 produces around 43,000 lbf (191 kN) of thrust. The F135 competed with the General Electric/Rolls-Royce F136 to power the F-35. Derived from the F119 engine, the F135 is a mixed-flow afterburning turbofan with a new fan and LP turbine. There are two F135 variants: the -100 and the -600 versions. A -400 version is mentioned, similar to the -100, the main difference being the use of salt-corrosion resistant materials. The -600 is described below with an explanation of the engine configuration changes that take place for hovering. The engine and Rolls-Royce LiftSystem make up the Integrated Lift Fan Propulsion System (ILFPS).

Pratt & Whitney is an American aerospace manufacturer with global service operations. It is a subsidiary of Raytheon Technologies. Pratt & Whitney’s aircraft engines are widely used in both civil aviation (especially airlines) and military aviation. Its headquarters are in East Hartford, Connecticut. Raytheon Technologies Corporation is an aerospace and defense company that provides advanced systems and services for commercial, military and government customers worldwide. With four industry-leading businesses: Collins Aerospace, Pratt & Whitney, Raytheon Intelligence & Space and Raytheon Missiles & Defense the company delivers solutions that push the boundaries in avionics, cybersecurity, directed energy, electric propulsion, hypersonics and quantum physics. The company, formed in 2020 through the combination of Raytheon Company and the United Technologies Corporation aerospace businesses, is headquartered in Arlington, Virginia.

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