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First Pratt & Whitney F135 STOVL Propulsion System for F-35 Successfully Demonstrates Hover Thrust

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., May 24, 2004 -- For the first time, Pratt & Whitney’s (P&W) Short Take-Off & Vertical Landing (STOVL) Propulsion System for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter has demonstrated 39,700 pounds of thrust, the level required for the unique combat aircraft to hover. At the same time, weight reduction initiatives have brought the F135 engine system below its contracted target weight.

This demonstration confirms pre-test predictions established for the F135 propulsion system and provides strong evidence that the production configuration of the F135 will achieve specification requirements for hover thrust. With completion of this demonstration, the F135 Team has accomplished another significant milestone on the path to qualifying the F135 engine.

The latest review of the F135 STOVL System revealed that the achieved-to-date (ATD) weight is below the contracted weight target value. An on-going weight management plan will result in a STOVL weight at 3% to 6% below the contracted target. The weight achievements are critical for F-35 performance. The F135 STOVL team continues to investigate additional weight reduction and performance enhancement opportunities with Lockheed Martin, Rolls-Royce and the Joint Strike Fighter Program Office.

“These achievements are especially significant in light of the intense focus on STOVL aircraft performance”, said Bill Gostic, Pratt & Whitney’s F135 program director. “Congratulations to the whole F135 team for making this achievement a reality. The results of the STOVL test are critical to our success and you made it happen.”

The F135 Propulsion System Team consists of P&W, the prime contractor with responsibility for the propulsion system and system integration for all variants; Hamilton Sundstrand, provider of the F135’s control system, external accessories and gearbox; and Rolls-Royce, providing the Rolls-Royce LiftFanTM, 3 Bearing Swivel Module and Roll Posts to the STOVL (Short Take-Off/Vertical Landing) F-35B. The technologically advanced F135 has evolved from the highly acclaimed F119 engine powering the F/A-22 Raptor.

Pratt & Whitney, a United Technologies (NYSE: UTX) company, is a world leader in the design, manufacture and service of aircraft engines, space propulsion systems and industrial gas turbines.

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