Raytheon Technologies’ Pratt & Whitney business plans to invest $255m in a sustainment facility in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, US.
This facility will function as a hub for depot operations for all Pratt & Whitney military engines, including those for the F-35, C-17, F-22, F-15, F-16, B-52, and E-3 AWACS. The investment will occur through 2028, and the new 845,000ft² facility is expected to increase the site’s maintenance, repair, and overhaul capabilities.
Pratt & Whitney Military Engines president Jill Albertelli said: “Pratt & Whitney’s Oklahoma City site plays a critical role in our global sustainment network.
“Last year, the team achieved record output for the F117, F119, and F135 Heavy Maintenance Centers—this investment in a new facility will further expand our capabilities and reaffirm our commitment to our customer for years to come.”
Pratt & Whitney’s Oklahoma City site is part of a global sustainment network that includes locations in Australia, Japan, the Netherlands, and Norway, in addition to US locations in Marine Corp Air Station Cherry Point in North Carolina, Naval Air Station Jacksonville in Florida, and West Palm Beach.
The Oklahoma City site is the only site capable of performing all F135 power module scope levels. The F135 is an engine used in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Pratt & Whitney’s Engine Core Upgrade (ECU) is a block upgrade for the F135 designed to provide propulsion capability for all F-35 customers.
Pratt & Whitney was awarded a $5.2bn F135 engine production contract to produce the 15th and 16th batches of F135 engines to power the F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft.
The company will supply 278 units of F135 engines, with an option to order up to 518 engines for the US Armed Forces and international customers. By 2030, there will be more than 400 F-35 stealth fighters across Nato member bases.
The ECU leverages US Department of Defense (DoD) investments in technology to deliver the capability needed for Block 4 and beyond while maintaining the variant commonality. Pratt & Whitney’s Oklahoma City F135 Heavy Maintenance Center was activated in 2014 and is responsible for most of the F135’s maintenance work.
This new sustainment centre facility will allow for increased maintenance and repair capabilities for the F135 engine, which will help to support the continued expansion of the F-35 programme.
According to GlobalData’s The Global Military Engines Market 2018-2028 report, it claims a race to acquire fifth-generation fighters is also augmenting the demand for military aircraft and, consequently, aircraft engines.
For this purpose, Australia and South Korea ordered F-35 JSF, driving the demand for Pratt & Whitney’s F135 after-burning turbofan engines in the region.
This investment by Raytheon Technologies’ Pratt & Whitney business is significant for the company and the Oklahoma City community. The new sustainment centre facility will provide increased support for military engines, including the F-35, and will create jobs and stimulate economic growth in the Oklahoma City area.
With its strategic location near Tinker Air Force Base, this facility will play a key role in supporting US military operations worldwide.
Oklahoma governor Kevin Stitt said: “This is an exciting announcement for Oklahoma and our growing international dominance in the aerospace and defence industry.
“This $255m investment in a world-class sustainment centre helps strengthen Oklahoma’s position as the MRO capital of the world, and I am thrilled for Pratt & Whitney to continue to invest and expand in our state.”
In August 2022, Pratt & Whitney announced that they had delivered their 1000th F135 production engine for the 5th Generation F-35 Lightning II fighter to the US DoD.