Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Navy Admiral Offers New Ammo Against Alternate Engine

Congressional Quarterly reports that Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Gary Roughead offered his opposition to the alternate engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.  The top Navy officer made no bones about the fact that he doesn’t want a second engine.

Readers of this blog know we have outlined a number of reasons why continuing to fund an alternate engine for the F-35 Lightning II is not a good decision.  We’ve made the case that it won’t save taxpayer’s money, it won’t improve the safety and reliability of the Joint Strike Fighter, and we’ve reported that the military leadership at the Pentagon believes funding the backup engine could mean building as many as 50 fewer planes at a time when our country faces a growing fighter gap.

Admiral Roughead added a new argument – that keeping parts for two engines on the decks of aircraft carriers wasn’t advisable.

“Space is at a premium, he said.  “Therefore you can put me solidly in the one-engine camp.”

CQ’s story indicated that “Roughead’s opposition to the second engine could fortify the administration’s case.”

Read the full story here.

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