03.28.11

Leahy: GE Aviation Rutland Gains $9.8M. Contract From The Navy For Fighter Engines

RUTLAND, Vt. (MONDAY, March 28) – Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Monday announced a new $9.8 million U.S. Navy contract with General Electric Aviation for work in Rutland on additional engine components used in the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft. The full contract, for work performed in Rutland and at several other GE plants, totals $246,520,390.

Leahy is a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and of its Defense Subcommittee, which handles the Senate’s work in writing the annual defense budget bill. He has been a long time supporter of GE Aviation’s work performed in Rutland and elsewhere across the United States. The Rutland facility primarily produces jet engine blades and vanes.

“This contract demonstrates the value that GE Aviation Rutland’s workers bring again and again to our fleet of military aircraft,” said Leahy. 

“The F414 engine components produced in Rutland for the F/A-18E/F are among our most advanced engine parts,” said Dan DiBattista, plant manager for GE Aviation’s Rutland operation. “We couldn’t be more proud of the F414 engine and the service it performs for the U.S. Navy. We are deeply grateful to Sen. Leahy as a long-term advocate for our Rutland plant.”

Leahy said that given GE Aviation’s demonstrated record of success in developing and manufacturing high-quality military jet engines, he remains baffled by the Pentagon’s order last week to stop work on the GE/Rolls Royce alternate engine under development for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.  The Pentagon’s decision to terminate work on the engine eliminates competition and will likely lead to higher long-term costs, which GAO has estimated could amount to $20 billion over the life of the program.  Pratt & Whitney, the developer of the primary engine, already faces billions of dollars in development cost overruns.  Leahy plans to keep pushing for the completion of alternative engine program and for full competition between the GE/Rolls Royce and Pratt & Whitney engines. 

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