Embedded Avionics, Military

Pratt & Whitney Deliver Seventh Lot of Propulsion Engines to DOD, Remedy Former Engine Mishaps

By Juliet Van Wagenen | October 16, 2014
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F-35 Joint Strike Fighter for which Pratt & Whitney supply the propulsion systems
F-35 Joint Strike Fighter for which Pratt & Whitney supply the propulsion systems. Photo: Pratt & Whitney

[Avionics Today 10-16-2014] The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) awarded Pratt & Whitney a contract for the seventh lot of F135 propulsion systems to power the F-35 Lightning II warfighter. The recent contract announcement for $592 million raises the total procurement contract value to $680 million. In December 2013, a $263 million sustainment contract was previously awarded bringing the total Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) 7 propulsion cost to $943 million. The LRIP contract for the seventh lot will deliver 36 total engines. The contract also includes program management, engineering support and spare modules.

Under the contract, Pratt & Whitney commits to cover the cost of corrective actions for previously delivered propulsion systems and modules to correct the third stage fan blade failure. As a precursor to this engine award, a joint investigation team met and supports the identified root cause of the June 23 engine mishap at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., which is prolonged rubbing into the material in the stator. This rubbing decomposed and superheated the titanium rotor leading to excessive heating, which started very small cracks in a titanium seal and then led to failure of the third stage fan rotor. The JPO and Pratt & Whitney are executing a plan to modify the current fielded operational and test engines and implement a long-term solution for production engines.

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