The Pentagon is unhappy with US Senate and House committee efforts to continue funding of the F136 alternative engine for the JSF program.
“We’re going to be saddled yet again with an alternate engine,” Geoff Morrell, a Pentagon spokesman told a media conference on October 28, despite two engines being part of the JSF’s marketing and risk reduction program since its inception in the late 1990s.
The Obama administration had threatened to veto the engine if it took funding away from the overall JSF development program. Instead, the Senate and House defence committees found an additional US$680m (A$755m) in the budget to continue the development of the Rolls-Royce/GE F136 as a fall back or alternatative option to Pratt & Whitney’s F135 engine.
US Defense Secretary Robert Gates had not ruled out trying to kill off the funding in next year’s FY2011 budget. “That is the discussion that is taking place between the secretary and his budget team as they go about building the FY11 budget request,” Morell said, adding that “it is still very much a question as to how we proceed” on the second engine.