Sen. Brown: Maintain Critical Competitive Engine Program

Joint Strike Fighter F136 Competitive Engine Program Saves Taxpayer Money and Bolsters National Security

, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) issued the following statement in response to President Obama’s proposal to terminate the Joint Strike Fighter F136 competitive engine program in his budget request for Fiscal Year 2012:

 “President Obama’s budget proposal makes tough choices to cut the deficit. But important programs that promote America’s competitiveness and bolster innovation— like GE’s competitive engine—should not be sacrificed,” Brown said. “I will continue to work on a bipartisan basis with members of the Ohio delegation to maintain funding for the competitive engine program.”

 Brown is a leading proponent of the competitive engine, which is being developed by General Electric (GE) in Evendale.  Earlier this year, Brown successfully urged U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates to maintain funding for the Joint Strike Fighter F136 competitive engine. The letter can be found here.  Brown also sent a letter to OMB Director Lew in December seeking confirmation that the Administration would follow Congress’ mandate for funding the competitive engine program under a Continuing Resolution. OMB responded that the Continuing Resolution, as drafted, would follow Congressional intent and continue the competitive engine program.

 Last year, Brown helped secure $465 million in federal funds to support the creation of a competitive engine for the Joint Strike Fighter (F-35) propulsion system. In April 2010, Brown visited the GE Aviation facility in Evendale to address workers and get an update on the development of the Joint Strike Fighter F136 competitive engine.

The F-35 program will develop and deploy the fifth-generation strike fighter aircraft to meet the operational needs of the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and their allies. The F-35 employs cutting-edge technologies including synthetic aperture radar integration techniques, advanced target recognition, and advanced capabilities in its resistance to jamming, maintainability, and logistic support. This engine competition for the F-35 saves money and improves our national security.

 GE makes the competitive engine with its partner Rolls-Royce and much of the testing will be done in Evendale.  The engine program has created hundreds of jobs and could lead to many thousands depending on how many engines are produced. The Joint Strike Fighter is the largest weapon procurement program in history.

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