Reuters: Pratt says next F-35 engine deals will cut costs by 7-8 pct

Pratt & Whitney announced this week an expected price drop of 7 to 8 percent with its Pentagon contracts for their next two batches of F-35 Lightning II engines. They further announced that a fix for the engine issues that temporarily grounded the fighter jet fleet earlier this year should be in place for some test aircraft by the end of 2014.

From Reuters:

Bennett Croswell, president of Pratt’s military engines division, told reporters the company had already more than halved the cost of its F-35 engine, and the savings from the next two contracts – for the seventh and eighth batches of engines – would come on top of that.

Croswell, speaking at the annual Air Force Association conference, said Pratt had essentially reached agreement with the Pentagon on the next low-rate production contracts, which will be worth over $1 billion.

He said Pratt expected that by the end of the month it would be able to validate the root cause of an engine failure that grounded the entire F-35 fleet for several weeks this summer.

He said 20-odd test F-35 aircraft should then be modified with a fix for the engine issue by the end of the year.

Also at the conference, the Pentagon’s F-35 chief Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan reported that while the engine issue had caused a development delay of 30-45 days, he still anticipated the first combat F-35s to be in use by the Marine Corps by mid-2015.

Read the entire article, and to learn more about the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter program, visit F35.com.