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Pratt & Whitney Secures F135 Engine Production Deal, Boosting F-35’s Combat Capabilities

Pratt & Whitney, a Raytheon Technologies company, has secured a $5.2bn deal to manufacture the 15th and 16th sets of F135 engines that will propel the F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft. All three variants of the F-35 fighter jet developed by Lockheed Martin will be powered by the F135 engines under this agreement. Pratt & Whitney will deliver 278 F135 engines and has an option to provide up to 518 engines for the US Armed Forces and overseas clients.

The F-35 fighter jet is projected to become the standard NATO fighter, with more than 400 stealth fighters expected to be stationed across NATO bases by 2030, as per a report by Airforce Technology. Pratt & Whitney’s engine contract can aid this growth for Lockheed Martin and enhance geopolitical stability by deterring threats in various regions.

Several countries such as Canada and Germany are expected to benefit from this engine deal, with Canada having finalized an agreement to procure 88 F-35A’s from the US for the RCAF this year, and Germany having approved a $8.83bn deal to acquire 35 F-35 fighter jets from Lockheed Martin in late 2022. Pratt & Whitney also stated that this award may include a 17th lot. The company’s VP for the F135 program, Jen Latka, said, “This contract award enables us to continue delivering critical 5th Generation propulsion capability to the warfighter at a fair and reasonable cost for the taxpayer.”

Additionally, Pratt & Whitney will provide program management, engineering, production, and tooling support. The average unit cost of an F135 has been reduced by more than 50% due to Pratt & Whitney’s “ωɑɾ on cost” efforts since the program’s inception, resulting in an estimated $8.1bn in total engine savings over the program’s lifespan. The F135 is derived from the F119 engine that powers the US Air Force’s F-22 Raptor tactical fighter aircraft.

Pratt & Whitney has delivered more than 1,000 F135 production engines as of December 2022. The F-35 fighter jet is a fifth-generation combat aircraft equipped with stealth technology, advanced sensors, ωeapons capacity, and range, making it a lethal, survivable, and connected fighter aircraft.

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