This issue underscores a logical flaw in the case for an alternate engine. Backers argue that having a second engine is insurance against a design flaw in the primary powerplant being built by Pratt & Whitney for the single-engine F-35 fighter. But that reasoning works both ways -- add a second engine to the mix, and you've doubled the potential for design issues, just like you've doubled the cost of developing engines by having to fund two design teams and two development programs. With several billion dollars remaining to be spent before the alternate engine joins the fleet, there is still time to rethink whether a second engine is really needed. The Pentagon says one engine is enough.
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