Home Tech Lockheed Martin proposes using different engines in fifth-generation F-35 Lightning II fighters, although this will lead to billions in additional costs

Lockheed Martin proposes using different engines in fifth-generation F-35 Lightning II fighters, although this will lead to billions in additional costs

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Lockheed Martin proposes using different engines in fifth-generation F-35 Lightning II fighters, although this will lead to billions in additional costs

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Lockheed Martin proposes using different engines in fifth-generation F-35 Lightning II fighters, although this will lead to billions in additional costs

We wrotethat Greg Ulmer, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin, advocated that the F-35 aircraft receive an adaptive engine instead of modernization. This solution has a drawback, but the top manager found a solution.

What is known

The US Air Force has decided to retain the adaptive engine, which is being developed under the Adaptive Engine Transition Program (AETP), for the sixth generation fighter. One of the reasons was that the new power plant was incompatible with the F-35B aircraft, which has a short takeoff and vertical landing.

Greg Ulmer believes that international operators of the F-35 will have the right to choose which engine to use. For example, the Royal Air Force has only ordered the F-35B, so they will have no choice but to equip the aircraft with the upgraded F135 power plant. Countries that have ordered the F-35A will have a choice between the F135 and AETP.


In truth, it is hard to believe that the Pentagon will go for such a decision. Support for more than one type of engine will require additional infrastructure. At the same time, Ulmer said that it is the new features that the adaptive engine will bring that should be a priority.

Another reason why the Pentagon is unlikely to agree to develop two projects in parallel is the cost. The cost of developing the AETP was also one of the factors why the adaptive engine was retained for the sixth generation fighter.


In Fiscal Year 2024, the AETP program may receive additional funding of almost $590 million. Greg Ulmer said $150 million would be enough to keep the project going until next year. By that time, the Joint Program Office will decide on the requirements for the future power plant for the F-35.

Source: Breaking Defense



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