America’s historic air superiority advantage cannot be taken for granted. This is more true today than ever before, and contrary to “Navy, Marines shouldn’t bear costs for Air Force F-35 engine replacement” (Web, Sept. 19), the Adaptive Engine Transition Program (AETP) is key to ensuring U.S. pilots can trust in that advantage in the decades to come.
Just this month, GE announced that its XA100 engine — compatible with both U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy F-35s, which make up 90% of the F-35 program of record — had finished testing as part of the program. It demonstrated double the critically needed mission systems cooling, 30% greater range and 20% greater acceleration than the current F-35 engine, while offering billions of dollars in fuel savings over the course of its life.
When it comes to air superiority, our pilots deserve the most advanced capabilities available. Congress and the Biden administration should capitalize on their investment to best protect our national security in an increasingly challenging global environment.
Senior staff engineer, GE Aviation