Senate appropriators did not include funding for the General Electric-Rolls Royce F136 engine in the just-passed Senate version of the 2010 defense spending bill, but Appropriations Committee chairman Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) has long favored continuing the F136, the so-called alternate engine to the Pratt & Whitney F135 that powers the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Inouye, reports The Hill, hopes to garner F136 funding during conference negotiations. And, on that, Government Executive reports that the House and Senate have been working “quietly for weeks” to reconcile their versions of the 2010 spending bill, which means the actual conference could be over in a few days. Meanwhile, as expected, Senate and House authorizers agreed in conference to authorize its funding, according to an Oct. 7 statement from Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii), who said, “Complete reliance on one-type engine would not be wise.”
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.