12 July, 2023

Pratt & Whitney awarded $66 million for F135 Engine Core Upgrade work

Pratt & Whitney, an RTX business, has been awarded a $66 million definitized contract modification for continued F135 Engine Core Upgrade preliminary design efforts, resulting in a total of $180 million secured by the Connecticut congressional delegation for this engine modernization effort. The funding will further support design engineering, program management support, technology maturation, risk reduction, long lead material and hardware purchase, and weapons system integration.

"We're extremely grateful for the ceaseless support we receive from the entire Connecticut delegation," said Jen Latka, Pratt & Whitney's vice president for the F135 program. "We'll use this funding to make quick progress on our Engine Core Upgrade's preliminary design efforts, and that will keep us on track to deliver this important capability starting in 2028."

In March 2023, the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Navy chose to upgrade the F135 versus replace it with an entirely new engine. The decision was announced as part of President Biden's 2024 budget proposal.

"A modernized F-35 needs a modernized engine to support it. The additional $66 million for the F135 Engine Core Upgrade we've secured will help us maintain a skilled workforce in Connecticut and around the country to deliver this much-needed capability," said Rep. Rosa DeLauro, ranking member of the House Appropriations Committee. "Upgrading the F135 is the right decision to support our national defence priorities and defence industrial base, and I'll continue to ensure this program gets the support and funding it needs."

The F135 ECU is the fastest, most cost-effective, and lowest-risk path to Block 4 capability for all global F-35 operators. It is optimized for all three F-35 variants and will yield $40 billion in lifecycle cost savings by avoiding disruptive and costly air vehicle changes and leveraging the current global sustainment infrastructure.

On 30 June, Lockheed Martin issued a brief statement regarding the F135 Engine Core Upgrade,   "We are fully committed to engine modernization efforts that ensure the F-35 remains the world’s most capable fighter for decades to come. As such, we will continue our partnership with government and industry to implement the U.S. government’s decision to pursue the F135 Engine Core Upgrade and any future decisions to stay ahead of the evolving threat."