GE and Pratt & Whitney are competing to supply the F-35 Lightning II stealth fighters with a more advanced engine for the Block 4 upgrade. Pratt & Whitney proposes an evolutionary upgrade to their F135 engine, while GE offers the XA-100 adaptive cycle engine.


This article by Sébastien Roblin, writing for Popular Mechanics, makes the following points:
  • The F-35 uses Pratt & Whitney’s F135 turbofan engine or the F-135-600 version for the F-35B jump-jet model.
  • The Block 4 upgrade is now in progress but requires an engine to generate more electricity for its systems.
  • Failure to improve the engine would reportedly raise operating costs and reduce engine life.
  • The question is whether the F135 engine should receive an evolutionary update or be entirely replaced.


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