Pratt & Whitney’s monopoly on JSF contract is official

Pratt & Whitney officially has a monopoly on one of the largest defense contracts ever-building engines for the Joint Strike Fighter plane.

The Department of Defense today officially announced that it had terminated its contract with General Electric and Rolls Royce, which had been collaborating on an alternate engine for the JSF.

GE and Rolls had long battled DOD efforts to nix the program, winning support in Congress to keep it alive. But they lost out this year in the current budget, when Congress approved a fiscal year 2011 spending bill that did not provide any funding for the alternate engine.

Thus, DOD’s announcement today: “The Department of Defense today notified the General Electric/Rolls Royce Fighter Engine Team (FET) and the Congress that the F136 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) engine contract has been terminated.”

Pratt & Whitney makes the main engine. Its parent company, United Technology Co., today hailed the DOD announcement as a victory not for the company but for “our men and women in uniform and the American taxpayer.”