skip to main content

Paris Air Show 2023: Raytheon Technologies marks F-35 upgrade milestones

RTX announced a number of upgrade milestones for the F-35, including those related to the F135 powerplant. (US Navy)

The three Raytheon Technologies (RTX) companies at the heart of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) programme have announced major upgrade milestones at the Paris Air Show 2023.

Speaking at a joint press briefing on 19 June, senior officials from Pratt & Whitney (P&W), Collins Aerospace, and Raytheon announced major upgrade milestones related to the aircraft's powerplant, power generation, and weapons systems, respectively.

Jill Albertelli, president of P&W's Military Engines business, noted that the company is on track to complete the F135 Engine Core Upgrade (ECU) preliminary design review (PDR) before moving into the detailed design phase in early 2024. Henry Brooks, president, Power & Controls, at Collins Aerospace, said that Collins had conducted successful laboratory tests of the Enhanced Power and Cooling System (EPACS) that is designed to support F-35 Block 4 modernisation and future upgrades. Paul Ferraro, president of Air Power, Raytheon Missiles & Defense, said that the US Air Force (USAF) had completed the functional configuration audit (FCA) of the latest variant of AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) that equips the F-35 for US and international customers.

In terms of the powerplant, Albertelli outlined how F135 ECU will enable the engine to support the additional capabilities that will soon be introduced to the F-35 through the Block 4 upgrade. “The F135 upgrade was the only way to go,” she said, adding that the new engine proposed by General Electric would not fit all variants of the aircraft and would have cost “billions of dollars” more.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...