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Public Statements

National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011

Location: Washington, DC

* Mr. SPRATT. Mr. Chairman, I support the provisions in this bill that support a second engine for the F-35.

* The Air Force will soon shift its air-to-ground, air-to-air, and air-supremacy roles to the F-35, and the F-35 will eventually number more than a thousand jet fighters, or 95 percent of the fighter force structure.

* To power these aircraft, the Air Force will require some 2500-3000 engines at a cost of more than $100 billion.

* We are fortunate to have two excellent engine manufacturers, Pratt Whitney and GE. Both started out as candidates for the F-35 engine.

* The question now comes: Do we need and want a second engine, produced by GE?

* More specifically--

* Do we want to sole source, run this program out 25 years or more, without price competition?

* In addition to price competition, do we want competition on innovation, reliability, and durability?

* Do we want to run the operational risk of having no back-up if problems show up in one engine?

* Do we want to keep competition in the defense production base?

* A second engine for the F-35 makes sense and saves money.

* I urge the House to leave intact the second engine provisions in the defense authorization bill before us today.

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