The Pentagon is reportedly ready to spend close to $400 billion to develop and build 2,457 of the radar-evading F-35 warplanes over the next two decades.
By funding 50 percent more F-35 fighter jets in fiscal year 2016, the Pentagon expects to drive down the price of the new plane from Lockheed Martin, as well as the price of its engine from Pratt.
According to Bennett Croswell, president of Pratt’s military engines division, Pratt, Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman Corp, and BAE Systems Plc have all launched initiatives to reduce the cost of their respective parts and jobs involving the F-35.
Pratt is also planning to upgrade the F-35’s engine in two separate phases, according to Croswell.
The first upgrades are set to begin in 2017 or 2018, assuming the Pentagon accepts and funds the plans, and will reduce the fuel burn of the engine by 5 to 7 percent, Croswell said. The next upgrades would be farther off, sometime around 2022, cutting fuel burn by 15 to 20 percent.