In the end, even the Pentagon wanted to bin it.
President Barack Obama and the Republican-controlled House of
Representatives today reached a compromise and axed the $450
million F-35 General Electric (
) F136 jet engine program, which funded the construction
of a secondary powerplant for the F-35 Lightning II fighter based
on technology from GE and Rolls-Royce.
Both the Obama and the Bush administration had fought to terminate
the program. Even after Defense Secretary Robert Gates removed it
from the Pentagon's funding requests, congress reinserted it a few
The final vote in the House stood at 233-198, with newly-elected,
budget-hawk Republicans crossing the aisle to vote with liberal
Democrats opposed to continued increases in expenditure on military
The newly-instated Republican Speaker of the House, John Boehner of
Ohio, voted against stripping the funding. GE and Rolls-Royce had
pledged to bring jobs to Ohio, Indiana and more than a dozen other
states. Pratt & Whitney, a division of United Technologies
Corporation (UTC), is the manufacturer of the F-35's current
engine. The firm said that GE's engine would just draw jobs away
from their own manufacturing plants.
The F-35 already has a functioning engine, the P&W F135.
However, the F136 the project's supporters said that competition
between suppliers would ultimately lower costs for the