This year marks the 20th anniversary of the issuance of contracts to develop the F-35 Lightning II, America's fifth-generation fighter aircraft. Since its launch, the program has set the standard for the incorporation of new technologies and components into fighter aircraft, such as thrust vectoring, composite materials, stealth technology, advanced radar and sensors, and integrated avionics to greatly improve pilot situational awareness. But the time has come for necessary upgrades.
Specifically, planned air vehicle growth on the F-35 will exceed the current thrust, power and thermal management (PTMS) capabilities on the fighter jet's F135 engine by the end of the decade. As a result, a propulsion overhaul is needed. There are two schools of thought about how best to accomplish this goal.
Many policymakers in Washington favor a suite of upgrades to the existing F135 engine known as the Enhanced Engine Package (EEP). These modifications would allow the aircraft to continue to meet operational requirements by improving thrust and range by more than 10% each and providing a 50% improvement in thermal management. As a retrofit, it would also allow the military to maintain the F-35' current supply chain, infrastructure and sustainment network...
To read more visit Military.com.