* 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.