Pratt & Whitney Marks F135 Engine Milestone

09.05.2022
Pratt & Whitney, F135 engine
Manufacturing

Pratt & Whitney celebrated a milestone August 31 with the delivery of its 1,000th F135 production military jet engine. 

The engine is the fifth generation powering the F-35 Lightning II fighter jet for the U.S. Department of Defense. 

“The 1,000th F135 delivery 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 comes off the production line,” vice president for the F-135 program Jen Latka said.

“This milestone underscores the maturity of the F135, which has been proven in the field as the safest, most capable fighter engine in the history of military aviation.”

The engine is manufactured in Middletown, and has production sites in West Palm Beach, FL, and a final assembly and check-out facility in Japan.

Capital Investments

Pratt & Whitney has invested more than $500 million in capital, process improvements, and cost reduction initiatives since delivering the first production engine in 2009.

The company has reduced the average unit cost of the F135 engine by more than 50% or $8 billion over that 13-year period. 

Complete with more than 40,000 pounds of thrust, and an increase in thermal management capacity, officials said the F135 delivers a step change in capability over previous generation engines. 

The responsive integrated engine also provides another layer of reliability, allowing the pilot to focus on their mission. 

‘Pinnacle’

“Every one of those 1,000 engines represents safe, affordable, reliable fifth generation propulsion capability in the hands of our customers,” Pratt & Whitney Military Engines president Jill Albertelli said.

“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.”

“The F135 ensures our women and men in uniform can complete their missions in the most advanced threat environments.”

Pratt & Whitney’s Jill Albertelli

Officials at Pratt & Whitney, which employs more than 11,000 people at its East Hartford and Middletown locations, said the F135 has “ample” design margin to grow for F-35 missions of the future. 

Pratt expects the proposed block upgrade to the F135, to deliver “the fastest, most cost efficient, lowest risk path to fully enabled Block 4 capability for all F-35 operators.”

The manufacturer also expects the upgrades will save taxpayers $40 billion in lifecycle costs while “building upon a combat-tested architecture with more than one million flight hours of dependable operation.”

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