The Pentagon has awarded Raytheon Technologies‘ [RTX] Pratt & Whitney nearly $888 million for spare parts for the F135 engine for the Lockheed Martin [LMT] F-35 fighter.

The firm fixed price contract modification “increases the contract ceiling to procure F135 propulsion system spare parts, modules, support equipment/packaging handling shipping and transportation material, and depot lay-in material in support of the F-135 propulsion system requirements for the Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy, Foreign Military Sales customers and non-Department of Defense participants,” DoD said in a June 12 contract announcement.

Pratt & Whitney is to perform most of the work in East Hartford, Conn., by December 2026.

The F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) has said that it is working with Lockheed Martin and Pratt & Whitney to move the management of spare parts data from the contractors to a government system.

The Government Accountability Office said last month that the F-35 program has lost track of millions of dollars in spare parts held at more than 50 domestic and international non-prime contractor sites (Defense Daily, May 24).

The new F135 spare parts contract modification follows a DoD announcement last week about a $2 billion award to Pratt & Whitney for F135s in Lot 17 of the F-35 buy.

The Air Force, in its fiscal 2024 budget request, proposes an F135 Engine Core Upgrade (ECU) and ends the service’s Advanced Engine Transition Program (AETP).

If Congress decides to continue AETP, integration of an AETP engine on the F-35 would require further analysis before proceeding, the F-35 JPO has suggested (Defense Daily, May 11).

The Air Force requests $245 million for the F135 ECU in fiscal 2024.

Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall has said that AETP promised significant performance improvements for the F-35 and that the service may have decided to continue AETP, “if the cost had been lower.”

Launched in 2016, AETP followed Air Force engine developments in the Adaptive Versatile Engine Technology program, begun in 2007, and the Adaptive Engine Technology Development program, started in 2012. In June 2016, Pratt & Whitney and General Electric [GE] each received contracts worth more than $1 billion for AETP–GE for its XA100 and Pratt & Whitney for its XA101.

The Air Force has estimated a development cost of nearly $6.7 billion for AETP but has not released a breakout of such estimated costs (Defense Daily, June 30, 2022).