Pratt & Whitney announced Monday that it has delivered the first F135 spare engine to the F-35 schoolhouse at Eglin AFB, Fla., to support the strike fighter’s training operations. Those activities are set to commence there this summer. “Delivery of the first F135 engine to Eglin in support of training operations is a significant milestone for the F-35 program,” said Chris Flynn, vice president for the company’s F135 and F119 engine programs. Flynn said Pratt has completed delivery of the F135s built during the first two production lots and has started delivering Lot 3 engines. The company also recently signed the contract to supply 37 Lot 4 engines. F135s have powered all three F-35 configurations in nearly 1,000 flights, accumulating 1,450 flight hours, according to Pratt. This includes enabling more than 110 “flawless” vertical landings with the Marine Corps F-35B variant, the company said.
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.