|F-35 Joint Strike Fighter for which Pratt & Whitney supply the propulsion systems. Photo: Pratt & Whitney
[Avionics Today 10-31-2014] The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) awarded Pratt & Whitney a modification to a previously awarded contract for the eighth lot of F135 propulsion systems to power F-35 Lightning II aircraft. The announcement for $793 million raises the total contract value to $1.052 billion. Previous awards, valued at $259 million, were given for long lead items and sustainment.
The Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) contract for the eighth lot will deliver 48 total engines. The contract also includes program management, engineering support and spare modules. Average prices for the Conventional Takeoff and Landing and Carrier Variant (CTOL/CV) and Short Takeoff and Vertical Landing (STOVL) variant engines were reduced roughly 3.5 to 4.5 percent respectively from LRIP 7 to LRIP 8.
The LRIP 8 contract was awarded at the conclusion of a joint investigation into the root cause of the June 23 engine mishap on an F-35A at Eglin Air Force Base. The investigation concluded that a "hard rub" between the Rotor 3 and the polyimide stationary seal on Stator 2 led to excessive heating and fracturing of the rotor in the fan section of the engine.