Raytheon Technologies hosted a supplier event today on behalf of Pratt & Whitney, makers of the F135 engine, which powers the F-35 Lightning II. Approximately 80 attendees representing F135 U.S.-based suppliers from 24 states flew in for the one-day event on Capitol Hill to learn more about the F135’s Engine Core Upgrade (ECU), a critical effort to modernize the engine to meet the jet’s growing power needs.
“We’ve worked closely with our supply chain partners for nearly two decades to power the F-35,” said Jen Latka, vice president of F135 programs at Pratt & Whitney. “Their commitment to this program is vital to ensuring the F135 Engine Core Upgrade delivers the thrust, range, and power the F-35 needs to counter advanced threats.”
Pratt & Whitney’s ECU is the only solution suitable for all F-35 variants and available starting in 2028. It will yield $40 billion in savings, a number that’s largely driven by the F135 program’s ability to leverage the current industrial base.
“Misinformation around the health of the military fighter engine industrial base is prolific,” said Jeff Shockey, senior vice president of Global Government Relations for Raytheon Technologies. “Right now, as the industrial base stands today, it is healthy and balanced. It needs to stay that way. From both a warfighter and a taxpayer perspective, upgrading the existing engine is the only solution for the F-35.”