GE/Rolls-Royce venture gets engine contract

The Fighter Engine Team joint venture between GE Transportation — Aircraft Engines and Rolls-Royce will develop the engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program.

The Fighter Engine Team joint venture between GE Transportation — Aircraft Engines and Rolls-Royce will develop the engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program.

The F-35 is the next-generation stealth aircraft in development to replace the AV-8B Harrier; A10, F-16 and F/A-18 Hornet; and Harrier GR.7 and Sea Harrier airplanes powered by GE or Rolls-Royce engines.

Under the contract with the U.S. government, the team will develop the F136 engine along with producing and qualifying 14 engines for ground and flight tests. The team hopes to have the first engine available for testing in mid-2008 and an engine for flight testing on a F-35 by 2010. Production of the engines could begin in 2012.

The F136 will be a single-engine configuration for all three versions of JSF aircraft: short take-off vertical landing version for the U.S. Marine Corps and United Kingdom Royal Navy, conventional takeoff and landing version for the U.S. Air Force, and a carrier variant for the U.S. Navy.

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