Pratt & Whitney has been awarded a $66 million contract for continued F135 Engine Core Upgrade preliminary design work.

The funding will further support design engineering, programme management support, technology maturation, risk reduction, long lead material and hardware purchase, and weapons system integration.

F135 Engine Core Upgrade

“We’re extremely grateful for the ceaseless support we receive from the entire Connecticut delegation,” said Jen Latka, Pratt & Whitney’s vice president for the F135 programme.

“We’ll use this funding to make quick progress on our Engine Core Upgrade’s preliminary design efforts, and that will keep us on track to deliver this important capability starting in 2028.”

In March 2023, the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Navy chose to upgrade the F135 versus replace it with an entirely new engine. The decision was announced as part of President Biden’s 2024 budget proposal.

“A modernised F-35 needs a modernised engine to support it. The additional $66 million for the F135 Engine Core Upgrade we’ve secured will help us maintain a skilled work force in Connecticut and around the country to deliver this much-needed capability,” said Rep. Rosa DeLauro, ranking member of the House Appropriations Committee.

“Upgrading the F135 is the right decision to support our national defense priorities and defense industrial base, and I’ll continue to ensure this programme gets the support and funding it needs.”

Optimised for all three F-35 variants

The F135 ECU is the fastest, most cost-effective, and lowest-risk path to Block 4 capability for all global F-35 operators. It is optimised for all three F-35 variants and will yield $40 billion in lifecycle cost savings by avoiding disruptive and costly air vehicle changes and leveraging the current global sustainment infrastructure, the company said.

On June 30, 2023, Lockheed Martin posted their support for the F135 ECU, touting their commitment to supporting the U.S. Government’s decision.
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