The US government has officially terminated funding for the General Electric/Rolls-Royce F136 after the US FY2011 defence budget, which was passed by both houses and by President Obama on April 15, contained no funding for the engine.
After Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Ashton Carter’s direction to the Fighter Engine Team (FET) to stop funded work on the engine in March, the team continued to self-fund development. The second engine, originally funded as an alternative to the Pratt & Whitney F135 to encourage competition between the two on the Joint Strike Fighter program and thus reduce acquisition costs, has survived several attempts by the Pentagon to terminate it, only to be resurrected in budget funding by Congress.
The Fighter Engine Team partners have expressed their disappointment in the decision and have said they intend to lobby for funding reinstatement in subsequent budgets.
“We continue to be encouraged by the bi-partisan support for the engine on the merits of its performance and value,” the companies said in a statement.
In the meantime the The Fighter Engine Team says it will imaintain the engine’s core group of engineers while others will be retained for work on other projects.