An Engine Replacement Could Kill Europe’s Huge F-35 Plans
If the decision to replace the engine for the F-35A is implemented, countries flying F-35s will find themselves forced into unforeseen and overly complicated supply chains.
With the war in Ukraine and Europe’s ensuing plans to develop its own unified defense force, we are reminded daily why it’s important for the United States to encourage its European allies to stick with the F-35 acquisition program.
Yet current proposals in America to replace the F-35 Lightning II’s propulsion system with an entirely new engine would require an additional supply and logistics chain for the newer jets. While European countries do not have a unified policy on F-35 purchases, the resulting impact on cost and efficiency caused by an engine replacement may still seriously impede future European sales.
Consider also a key European gap in F-35 enthusiasm. Germany’s choice has angered France—still upset about last year’s canceled submarine deal with Australia—which perceives the F-35 as a symbol of U.S. power within NATO, according to researcher Paul Maurice at the French Institute of International Relations in Paris. More importantly, Germany’s decision sparked fears of an end to the Franco-German-Spanish Future Combat Air System, an entirely new European project designed to replace the French Rafale and the German Eurofighter by 2040.
>> Read the article on The National Interest website <<