Pratt & Whitney has received an undefinitised contract award (UCA) from the US Department of Defense (DoD) to supply F135 engines in support of the Lockheed Martin-built F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter (JSF) programme.
Under the contract, Pratt & Whitney will provide engines, spare parts, programme management, engineering support for production, sustainment and field support for the F135 engines. The low-rate initial production (LRIP) 5, fixed-price and cost-plus incentive contract value will not exceed $1.12bn in addition to the $138m earmarked in 2011 for advanced acquisition materials.
Pratt & Whitney president of Military Engines Bennett Croswell said: "This UCA is a vital step to allow Pratt & Whitney and our STOVL lift system partner, Rolls-Royce, to continue meeting key milestones toward LRIP 5 production deliveries."
The F-35 programme involves the development and production of a fifth generation of stealth fighters, designed to perform ground attack, reconnaissance and air defence missions. The stealthy, supersonic, multirole F-35 Lightning II JSF is equipped with an electro-optical targeting system (EOTS) that provides long-range detection and precision targeting. The aircraft is equipped with advanced efficient, higher-capacity avionics and is designed to replace the A-10, the AV-8 Harrier, the F-16 and the F/A-18 Super Hornet.
The contract for 21 conventional take-off and landing (CTOL) engines for the US Air Force also includes the provision of six variant (CV) engines for the US Navy and three short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) propulsion systems for the US Marine Corps. The F-35 programme consists of nine partner nations including the US, the UK, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, Canada, Australia, Denmark and Norway. The aircraft has been recently selected by Japan’s Ministry of Defence as its air self-defence force’s (JASDF) next-generation fighter aircraft.
Deliveries under the contract are scheduled to take place in late 2012.
Image: Pratt & Whitney will supply F135 engines in support of the Lockheed Martin-built F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter (JSF) programme.