Pratt & Whitney anticipates F135 ECU critical design review in mid-2025

09 February 2024

by Zach Rosenberg

Pratt & Whitney F135 engine on a test stand. (P&W)

Pratt & Whitney anticipates completing its critical design review (CDR) of the F135 engine core upgrade (ECU) in mid-2025, company F135 programme manager Jenn Latka told reporters on 6 February.

“Our design phase is supposed to end in roughly the middle of 2025 [with] the critical design review, and our first engine [goes] to test in 2026,” Latka said. The first ECU-equipped engine is scheduled to enter service in 2029.

“We are on track to hit all of those milestones, design is going very well on ECU,” Latka continued.

The ECU is intended to provide more power for electronics aboard the F-35’s upcoming Block 4 version. The Block 4 requires about 25% more electricity to power its larger computer processor and more complex weapons systems.

The company has roughly 500 people working on a digital design of the ECU, Latka said.

“We are working in a model-based systems engineering environment with ECU, so if we make one little design tweak to a part, it is running through an integrated model – all the structures analysis, all the thermals analysis, etc,” she added.

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