Pratt & Whitney has won a $115 million contract for a core upgrade of its F135 engine which is expected to accelerate development towards Block 4 capability on F-35 jets.
The new contract will also support Pratt & Whitney’s preliminary development activities through 2023.
Jill Albertelli, president of Pratt & Whitney’s Military Engines business, said: “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.”
Rosa DeLauro, chair of the House Appropriations Committee, added: “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. I was proud to fight for this investment in F135 modernization, and you have my word that I will always fight to keep these jobs in Connecticut.”
According to Pratt & Whitney, the F135 engine core upgrade will deliver the fastest most cost efficient, lowest risk path to Block 4 capability for all global F-35 operators. It is thought to be 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 believed to support 53,000 jobs across 36 states, and in Connecticut, the program is estimated to support around 27,000 direct and indirect jobs and nearly 100 suppliers.