August 29, 2013

Pratt & Whitney nears $1B contract for F-35 engines

The tentative jet contract calls for the North Berwick plant to make 38 units at a lower cost than its last order.

By Jessica Hall
Staff Writer

NORTH BERWICK - Pratt & Whitney and the U.S. Department of Defense have reached an agreement in principle on a $1 billion production contract for the sixth batch of engines to be used on F-35 Lightning II warplanes.

click image to enlarge

A U.S. Air Force F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter is seen at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. Pratt & Whitney has reached an agreement in principle to build a sixth batch of F-35 engines.

2011 Associated Press File Photo / U.S. Air Force

If finalized, the contract is expected to benefit the company's North Berwick plant. It would cover 38 total engines, including program management, engineering support, production and spare parts.

Foster's Daily Democrat reported that the final terms of the contract are to be determined in the coming months.

"This agreement represents a fair deal for government and Pratt & Whitney," said Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan, F-35 program executive officer. "Driving down cost is critical to the success of this program and we are working together -- in each successive contract -- to lower costs for the propulsion system."

Pratt & Whitney said it will produce the new batch of engines at a cost 2.5 percent lower than its previous batch of 35 engines.

Maine House Speaker Mark Eves, D-North Berwick, said he is pleased that Pratt & Whitney is moving closer to securing the engine contract.

"This is incredible news for Maine workers in North Berwick," said Eves. "The jobs provided by the North Berwick facility serve countless families in the area and across the state. North Berwick is proud to have Pratt & Whitney and its workers in our community."

Pratt & Whitney has an 877,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in North Berwick.

Jessica Hall can be contacted at 791-6316 or at:

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