Pratt & Whitney reports it has completed assembling the first production configuration F135 engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The initial contract for the Defense Dept.'s next generation of jets was awarded less than two years ago, so completing the first engine is such a short time is considered by the company to be "a major milestone" in the F135 program.
The F-35 is scheduled to enter service in 2008.
The next step will be testing the engine at P&W's West Palm Beach FL, facility, under the management of the JSF System Development and Demonstration contract.
Bill Gostic, P&W's director of F135 Engine Programs, said, "This is an important day for the F135 engine team and Pratt & Whitney as a whole. It was a formidable challenge to complete this engine on budget and ahead of schedule, but the vast experience we gained in the JSF Concept Demonstration was a big help. The key to success was the outstanding dedication of everyone at Pratt & Whitney, the JSF program office, and the more than 300 partners and suppliers around the world."