The Naval Air Systems Command has awarded Pratt & Whitney, a subsidiary of Raytheon Technologies (NYSE: RTX), a potential $115 million contract to carry out core upgrades of the F135 propulsion system.
The award will support preliminary development efforts by the engine maker through 2023 and aims to create a low-risk path for the F-35 Block 4 configuration, Pratt & Whitney said Friday.
A Department of Defense notice indicates the project will involve design engineering, technology maturation, risk reduction and weapons system integration work.
“Upgrades like this are a normal part of any major defense program and the F135 engine has been pushed beyond its original specifications for too long,” said Jill Albertelli, president of Pratt & Whitney’s military engines business.
Albertelli projected the work could save the government as much as $40 billion in life cycle costs.