Pratt & Whitney’s F135 Engine Core Upgrade (ECU) for the F-35 Lightning II received $75 million in additional funding in the fiscal year 2023 omnibus appropriations bill, further affirming congressional support to modernize the engine. Pratt & Whitney’s ECU is the only F-35 propulsion modernization option suitable for all F-35 variants. It will yield $40 billion in lifecycle cost savings by avoiding disruptive and costly air vehicle changes and leveraging the current sustainment infrastructure. The F135 program is a major driver of economic growth around the country, supporting 53,000 jobs across 36 states in total; including 27,000 jobs in Connecticut, 3,000 jobs in Maine, and 2,300 jobs in Florida.
“Pratt & Whitney has reduced the cost of the F135 engine by 50% since production began, and the engine has performed at twice its original specifications for years. An upgrade is overdue. We’re going to give the F-35 the capabilities it needs for billions less than a new engine. That’s a win for the warfighter and the taxpayer,” said Rosa DeLauro, chair of the House Appropriations Committee.
“If the services and our allies want Block 4 enabled F-35s before the end of the decade, the engine needs a core upgrade. Thanks to the support we’ve received from Congress, with leadership from Chairwoman DeLauro, the upgraded engine will be ready for fielding starting in 2028,” said Jen Latka, vice president of F135 programs at Pratt & Whitney.
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 and military aviation. Its headquarters are in East Hartford, Connecticut. As one of the “big three” aero-engine manufacturers, it competes with General Electric and Rolls-Royce, although it has also formed joint ventures with both of these companies. 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.