Pratt & Whitney delivers 1,000th production F135 engine
Pratt & Whitney (P&W) has delivered the 1,000th F135 production engine for the 5th generation F-35 Lightning II fighter to the US Department of Defense. The milestone was marked by a celebration with employees, business leaders, House Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) as well as representatives from the F-35 Joint Program Office.
“The delivery of the 1,000th F135 is a testament to the hard work of thousands of P&W employees and hundreds of suppliers who play a vital role in every engine that rolls off the production line,” said Jen Latka, program vice president. F135. “This milestone underscores the maturity of the F135, which has proven itself in the field as the safest and most capable fighter engine in the history of military aviation. As the only 5th generation fighter engine in production today, the F135 offers the fighter an essential technological advantage. We are proud to support our men and women in uniform as a partner on the F-35. »
“Pratt & Whitney remains a world leader in advanced technology and defense manufacturing,” DeLauro said. “Being here to celebrate the delivery of the 1,000th F135 engine is truly exciting. It’s a testament to the thousands of skilled workers, engineers and manufacturers who are committed to manufacturing excellence. Pratt & Whitney employs more than 11,000 people in East Hartford and Middletown – countless jobs are supported by the region’s aerospace industry and remain a vital part of growing our state’s economy. You have my word that I will always fight to keep these jobs. in Connecticut.
Since delivering the first production engine in 2009, P&W has invested more than half a billion dollars in capital, process improvements and cost reduction initiatives to support the production ramp-up and reduce the cost average unit rate of the F135 by more than 50%. In addition to Middletown, production sites for the F135 include P&W’s plant in West Palm Beach, Florida, as well as a final assembly and verification (FACO) facility operated by IHI in Japan.
Evolved from the F119 engine powering the F-22 Raptor, the F135 offers a dramatic shift in capability from the previous generation of engines. This includes over 40,000 pounds of thrust; a substantial increase in thermal management capability enabling the full range of F-35 weapon and sensor capabilities; a precise and responsive integrated engine control system allowing the pilot to fully concentrate on the mission; and an unrivaled low-observability signature allowing the F-35 to conduct operations in modern anti-access/area denial (A2AD) environments.
From an availability perspective, the F135 has demonstrated an unrivaled safety record and the current production engine configuration achieves double the specification for Mean Flying Hours Between Engine Blankings (MFHBR). Additionally, the F135 support network is maturing and engine availability has improved by approximately 75% compared to the end of 2021.
The F135 also has enough design headroom to grow for the F-35 missions of the future. P&W’s proposed block upgrade to the F135, known as the Enhanced Engine Package (EEP), provides the fastest, most cost-effective, and lowest-risk route to fully activated Block 4 capability for all F-35 operators, while saving taxpayers $40 billion in lifecycle costs and leveraging a combat-tested architecture with more than one million hours of reliable operating flight.
“Each of these 1,000 engines represents safe, affordable and reliable 5th generation propulsion capability in the hands of our customers,” said Jill Albertelli, president of Pratt & Whitney Military Engines. “The F135 is the pinnacle of combat propulsion, ensuring our women and men in uniform can complete their missions in the most advanced threat environments and return home safely.”