Yes, Cut Cost; No, Second Engine

USAF and DOD officials remain convinced that there should be a sole engine provider for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter—and that is Pratt & Whitney with its F135 engine. Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell reconfirmed that stance Sept. 15 at the Pentagon, when he said, “There is no wavering among anybody in a decision-making position.” There had been some talk generated by program official comments about F135 cost escalation and a recent test mishap that the Pentagon might reconsider abandoning the General Electric-Rolls Royce F136. Morrell said a joint assessment team is taking “a hard look at how Pratt & Whitney is going about its business.” According to Morrell, Pentagon acquisition boss Ashton Carter is not satisfied with either P&W’s or program office’s current approach, but, he added, if all “buckle down … we can get back on schedule and back on cost.” (DOD briefing transcript)