Growth in aircraft capability must be matched with propulsion modernization to ensure the full mission capability of the F-35 weapon system, now and in the future.
Designed with the knowledge that operational environments evolve and threats advance, the F135’s modular design and advanced digital architecture allow for spiral development and insertion of both hardware and software.
Pratt & Whitney developed EEP for the F135 with the objective of providing the most cost-effective solution to meet future F-35 propulsion requirements. This includes inserting the latest technologies into the F135 without breaking variant commonality. Doing so would result in two development programs, two sustainment networks, increased production costs and significant air vehicle integration costs.
The Time is Now to Move Forward with Propulsion Modernization
As the air vehicle grows, so must the engine. To date, there is no propulsion growth requirement or funding commensurate to support planned Block 4 air vehicle upgrades. This needs to urgently change as planned air vehicle growth will exceed the current F135’s limits by the end of the decade.
Without propulsion modernization, there will be substantial operational impacts for F-35 warfighters and increased sustainment costs for the taxpayer. EEP is the only variant-common propulsion growth path that can close the Block 4 capability gap and reduce sustainment costs.