Pressing On:

The General Electric-Rolls Royce team developing the alternate engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter has just finished a three-month-long preliminary design review—earning a “green light” to proceed to the next step, the Critical Design Review slated for late next year, says team president Jean Lydon-Rodgers. The program is on life support after Congress overruled the Pentagon’s cancellation plan and restored funding for the F136 engine in the Fiscal 2007 defense bill. Lydon-Rodgers says the F136 program is “on budget and on schedule” to provide the first production F136 in 2012. However, lawmakers also gave the Pentagon leeway to prove it can sustain the JSF with only one engine maker when it provides Congress with three independent cost analyses, which are due March 15.