About That Other JSF Engine

Congress has provided authorization and funding to support continuation of the second F-35 Joint Strike Fighter engine, but lawmakers also want to see three “independent” cost analyses of scenarios with and without a second engine—to be completed by March 15. The 2007 defense authorization bill specifies that the three analytic entities will be: the comptroller general (read that Government Accountability Office), a federally funded research and development center selected by the Secretary of Defense, and the SECDEF’s own Cost Analysis Improvement Group. Among the items to be covered in each analysis is an assessment of the impact that canceling the alternate engine would have on the industrial base and on DOD’s “ability to make competitive engine choices for future combat aircraft systems beyond the Joint Strike Fighter.”