The US House Armed Services Committee has added funding for the GE/RR F136 engine for the JSF program to the FY011 US defence budget after funding was omitted by the Pentagon, the fifth year in a row this has been done.
The US$485m (A$553m) in funds would allow development of the F136 engine to continue. The alternative engine was originally planned to give JSF customers a choice of engine, as a hedge in case either it or the P&W F135 experienced a grounding issue, and to provide a competitive incentive to keep the costs of both engines down. But with costs on the JSF program rising in recent years, the Pentagon and both the Bush and Obama administrations have tried to delete funding for the F136.
The F136 is due to fly on a development JSF in 2011, five years behind the F135 which was derived from the F-22’s F119 engine, but is reported to have a newer generation design and materials, and greater growth potential.