Pentagon Orders Halt On Alternative To Pratt Engine

By LISA CORNWELL, Associated Press

CINCINNATI (AP) _ The Defense Department has issued an order to stop work on an alternate engine being developed at a GE Aviation plant in southwest Ohio for the Pentagon’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jet.

The department announced the order Thursday.

The Obama administration and the department strongly oppose the program, and the president’s fiscal 2012 budget proposal to Congress does not include funding for it. The department says “it is a waste of taxpayer money.”

The engine is being developed by GE Aviation outside Cincinnati. Fairfield, Conn.-based GE makes the engine with London-based Rolls-Royce.

GE Aviation spokesman Rick Kennedy says the Defense Department took action before Congress has completed this year’s budget. He says GE Aviation will continue to self-fund the project “through this crisis.”

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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