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F-35 Set to Soar as Pratt & Whitney Takes the Helm of F135 Engine Production

Pratt & Whitney, a business of Raytheon Technologies, has been granted a contract worth $5.2 billion to manufacture the 15th and 16th sets of F135 engines that will propel the F-35 Lightning II fighter plane. (The F-135 engines are intended to power all three variations of the F-35, and the company is expected to deliver 278 units of F135 engines, with the option to acquire up to 518 engines for the US Armed Forces and foreign clients.)

This contract represents a positive development for Pratt & Whitney, as reported yesterday by Airforce Technology, because the F-35 is establishing itself as NATO’s standard fighter. It is estimated that by 2030, there will be more than 400 F-35 stealth fighters deployed at NATO bases. This engine agreement with Pratt & Whitney could help Lockheed Martin’s growth and ensure geopolitical stability by dissuading threats in certain regions.

Canada and Germany are a couple of examples of countries that will benefit from this engine deal, as Canada recently signed an agreement with the US to purchase 88 F-35A aircraft for the RCAF this year, and Germany authorized a contract worth $8.83 billion to purchase 35 F-35 jets from Lockheed Martin late last year. Pratt & Whitney has stated that the contract could include a 17th batch. Jen Latka, Pratt & Whitney’s vice president for the F135 program, stated, “This is a significant milestone for the program.

This contract award enables us to keep delivering important 5th Generation propulsion capability to the warfighter at a fair and reasonable cost to the taxpayer.” The company will also provide program management, engineering, production, and tooling support. Since the program’s inception, Pratt & Whitney’s “ωɑɾ on cost” efforts have reduced the average unit cost of an F135 by more than 50%, resulting in an estimated $8.1 billion in cumulative engine savings over the life of the program.

Airforce Technology announced in a $571 million contract in 2009 that Pratt & Whitney engines would power the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Craft. The F135 is derived from the F119 engine, which powers the US Air Force’s F-22 Raptor stealth tactical fighter aircraft. The F-35 is a fifth-generation fighter aircraft with stealth technology, sophisticated sensors, ωeapons capabilities, and range, making it lethal, survivable, and connected. As of December 2022, Pratt & Whitney has provided more than 1,000 F135 production engines.

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