Lockheed Martin has decided to go with a next-generation engine for the F-35 Lightning II, to be created under Adaptive Engine Transition Program (AETP).
“We stand ready to support and continue to work with the U.S. government on the capability and performance upgrades that best support their requirements for the F-35 for decades to come– including an engine upgrade. AETP technologies deliver more power and greater cooling capability, which is required as we modernize the F-35 beyond Block 4,” the company said in a statement today.
“I’m going to advocate, and I do advocate, for [AETP], another engine,” Greg Ulmer, executive vice president for aeronautics, said in a Wednesday interview with Breaking Defense at the Paris Air Show. “I think some of the approaches today are very short sighted and not considering a longer-term view.”
The F-35’s service life is projected to be until 2070, which will require future upgrades.
“To ensure our customers stay ahead of emerging threats, the F-35 will need even greater capability, readiness, range and thrust, which will require an upgraded engine,” the company added.
Block 4 is expected to give the F-35 jet new sensors, the ability to carry more weapons and advanced electronic warfare (EW) capabilities, among other upgrades.