March 17 (UPI) — The U.S. Navy has awarded United Technologies’ Pratt & Whitney a nearly $320 million contract to produce 32 propulsion systems for the F-35 fighter planes for the Navy, Air Force and Japan.
The The $319.7 million contract, announced Monday by the Department of Defense, exercises an option for production and delivery of 20 F135-PW-100 propulsion systems for the Navy, six F135-PW-100 propulsion systems for the U.S. Air Force and six F135-PW-100 propulsion systems for the government of Japan.
Pratt & Whitney’s F135 propulsion system powers all three variants of the F-35, the fifth generation fighter aircraft developed by Lockheed Martin for the U.S. military.
The F-35 is the Department of Defense’s “most ambitious and costly weapon system in history,” according to the Government Accountability Office.
Work on the contract is expected to be completed by December 2022. Most of it will be completed in East Hartford, Conn., where the aerospace manufacturer is based, with the rest taking place in Indianapolis, Ind., and Britain.
The award came on the same day the the GAO published a report saying the F-35’s central logistics systems needs a complete redesign.
The 58-page GAO report, released Monday, noted risks associated with the system in the past five years, including inaccurate data within the system and ineffective personnel training.