Pratt & Whitney, a subsidiary of Raytheon Technologies— now rebranded as RTX, has increased the number of team members working on the preliminary design review of the F135 jet engine core upgrade and is on schedule to finish the PDR and begin the detailed design phase early next year.
The company said Monday that the F135 ECU team, which previously had 200 members, now consists of 500 people.
F135 is designed to be compatible with all three variants of the F35 Lightning II fighter aircraft. In December, Pratt & Whitney was awarded a $115 million contract for the F135 ECU preliminary design review.
In March, the Department of Defense decided to modernize the engine rather than replace it, as stated in the Biden administration’s 2024 budget request. Pratt & Whitney estimates that the engine will spare $40 billion in lifecycle costs compared to other air vehicle modification options.
“This upgrade will provide the F135 what it needs to support the additional capabilities that will soon be introduced to the F-35 through the jet’s Block 4 upgrade,” said Jill Albertelli, president of Pratt & Whitney’s military engines business.