General Electric/Rolls-Royce F136 Faces Cancellation

Nancy Anderson
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With over $3 Billion (USD) already invested into the program, the cancellation of the General Electric/Rolls-Royce F136 engine project for the Armed Forces’ new Joint Strike Fighter would mean the loss of some 2,500 jobs in the US. And for that reason, Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, GE Aviation, and union leaders representing the workers affected by this program cut are imploring the federal administration to continue funding the project.

There has been some debate, however, over whether the F136 is worth continued funding, with Pratt and Whitney (producers of the F136’s main competitor, the F135) claiming that the F136 is a decade behind the F135, so far as development is concerned. Thousands of letters to Congress have been written, both in favour of continued funding for the joint GE/RR project, and opposed to its continuation.

Strong points have been made in the past, however, that competition always reaps rewards, both in product quality delivered, and reduced costs to the customer, regardless of the market. In this current economic climate, retaining these jobs would also be helpful to the US’s recovery.

Wikipedia entry for the GE/RR F136
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Mike Wrightly is mostly diesel fumes and duct tape; he grew up around heavy equipment, and holds a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering.



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