Pentagon Terminates F136 Contract

The Defense Department on Monday notified the General Electric-Rolls Royce consortium developing the F136 engine that it has terminated the contract for the engine’s development. The Pentagon leadership doesn’t want the F-136, the competing engine for the F-35 strike fighter, asserting that it is “unneeded and wasteful.” It wants to go forth solely with Pratt & Whitney’s F135, but has faced Congressional resistance to killing the F136 over the past several years. In late March, however, the F-35 program office issued a stop-work order on the F136, pending completion of a defense appropriations bill for the rest of Fiscal 2011. Since that subsequent bill, H.R. 1473, contained no F136 funding, the path opened for contract termination. In a subsequent statement, the GE-Rolls team said it would “comply with the notice,” which requires them to preserve and turn over government property. At the same time, the companies also said they “will work closely” with their Congressional supporters during the Fiscal 2012 budget process “in pursuit of incorporating the engine” back into the F-35 program and “preserving competition.” (DOD release) (GE-Rolls Royce statement)