Pratt & Whitney says it has delivered the final F135 test engine in the configuration designed for USAF’s F-35A and Navy F-35C variants and is poised to begin deliveries later this month of the production-version of this engine. Warren Boley, Pratt’s vice president of F135 engine programs, said in a release Tuesday that this step is “another demonstration of the continued maturing” of the F135, which has already logged more than 12,850 test hours, both on the ground and in the air. Pratt expects to deliver the final test engine for the Marine Corps F-35B short-takeoff/vertical landing variant sometime soon. The F135 leverages technology from the company’s F119 engine that powers the F-22 stealth fighter. Pratt’s engine is locked in competition with the General Electric/Rolls-Royce F136 powerplant that Congress continues to fund in defense spending bills despite the Pentagon’s attempts to kill it.
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.