Thu, Feb 07, 2008
Money Eliminated From FY2009 Defense Budget Proposal
Representatives with General Electric say they "weren't entirely
surprised" to learn funding for the company's proposed F-35
Lightning II powerplant was stricken from President Bush's fiscal
year 2009 budget plan, announced this week. After all, they've been
Dow Jones Newswires reports this is the third year in a row the
Bush administration has pushed to axe the project, which calls for
GE and Rolls-Royce to develop an alternate engine choice to the
Pratt & Whitney F135.
In each of the previous years, funding was restored in
GE and Rolls-Royce were awarded the joint $2.5 billion contract
in 2005. Just over half of those funds have been authorized so far,
including $480 million for FY 2008. The White House doesn't want to
spend a dime more.
Rick Kennedy, a spokesman for GE's aviation division, said the
Pentagon wants the second engine option... and has been happy with
progress on the GE/Rolls F136 turbofan so far. However, "they have
their own issues in terms of (short-term) budget challenges," he
"We have a guarded optimism" that funding will be restored once
again, Kennedy added. "We feel good about it."
The Pentagon believes competition between two engine suppliers
would lower prices.
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