Repeated efforts by DOD to eliminate the alternate engine program for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter have met equally repeated efforts by Congress to fund it, and so the program continues. Arnold Engineering Development Center in Tennessee has begun initial testing of the GE-Rolls Royce F136 engine, all part of a long-term production effort initiated in 2005. The companies plan to provide three additional system development and demonstration engines for testing at AEDC, starting in 2009. The Arnold facility has the capability to simulate “true flight conditions,” said GE test engineer Pat Cowden. AEDC also performed testing on the Pratt&Whitney F135 engine for the JSF. (Report by Philip Lorenz III.)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.