December 29, 2005

Pentagon to kill F-35 back-up engine: consultant

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon has decided to kill a
planned back-up engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter in a
boost to United Technologies Corp. and a blow to rivals, a
noted defense consultant said on Thursday.

The decision could mean tens of billion of dollars in extra
sales over 25 years for Pratt & Whitney, a United Technologies
unit, said the Lexington Institute's Loren Thompson, who has
close ties to the Pentagon and industry.

The plan, subject to approval by the White House budget
office and the U.S. Congress, would be a setback for General
Electric Co. and Rolls-Royce Plc, which have been developing a
separate but interchangeable engine.