BLUFGE 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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References from the Web:
- SEP 2022 Five Reasons Buying An All-New Engine For The Air Force’s F-35 Fighters Is A Real Bad Idea—Forbes
- NOV 2022 9 reasons why the F-35 needs a new engine—Breaking Defense
- DEC 2022 USAF Awards General Electric $303M Adaptive Engine Contract—The Defense Post
- DEC 2022 Raytheon Targets F135 Engine Core Upgrade for 24 F-35 Squadrons by 2030—Aviation Today
- JAN 2023 New F-35 engine deliveries suspended amid ongoing investigation—Defense News
- FEB 2023 GE continues pushing F-35 engine replacement over upgrade—Flight Global
- FEB 2023 GE Says New F-35 Engine Would Refresh Propulsion Industrial Base—Air & Space Forces Magazine