Pratt & Whitney F135

About the F135 Engine:

The Pratt & Whitney F135 two-spool afterburning turbofan engine powers all three variants of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II - Joint Strike Fighter. The F135 propulsion system is the most powerful fighter engine ever developed.

The F135-PW-100 powers the U.S. Air Force F-35A Conventional Take-Off and Landing (CTOL) variant and provides 28,000 pounds of thrust or as much as 43,000 pounds with afterburner.

The more complex (and almost twice as expensive) F135-PW-600 system is used on the Marine Corps F-35B Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) variant. The system is basically an F135 engine coupled to a lift system manufactured by Rolls-Royce (Rolls-Royce LiftSystem). The Rolls-Royce LiftSystem is comprised of a lift fan, a driveshaft, the 3 Bearing Swivel Module (3BSM), and two roll posts. The driveshaft connects the F135 engine to the lift fan and delivers as much as 29,000 shp. The lift fan provides the forward vertical lift. It is a 50-inch, two-stage counter-rotating fan, which is able to deliver more than 20,000 pounds of thrust. The 3BSM is a swiveling jet pipe, which redirects the main engine thrust downward to provide the rear vertical lift. It can rotate 95 degrees in 2.5 seconds and directs 18,000 pounds of thrust. Aircraft roll control is achieved using two roll posts mounted in the wings of the F-35. These roll posts provide 1,950 pounds of thrust each (bypass thrust from F135 engine). In total, the Rolls-Royce LiftSystem provides 41,900 pounds of thrust.

The F135-PW-400 powers the Navy's F-35C Carrier Variant (CV) and provides 28,000 pounds of thrust or as much as 43,000 pounds with afterburner.

The F135 is developed from the proven Pratt & Whitney F119-PW-100 engine which powers the U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor. By the end of the development phase of the F135, the F119 had performed approximately 600,000 operational flying hours, thus providing a strong level of maturity and performance for the F135 program. By 2013, almost 21,000 test hours had been completed (17,700 ground + 2,950 flight). In April 2014, the F135 fleet surpassed 16,000 program cumulative flight hours. By June 2015, the F135 engine had completed more than 26,000 ground test hours and 21,500 flight hours.

The F135-PW-100 powered the first F-35 Lightning II CTOL flight on December 15, 2006. The F135-PW-600 STOVL propulsion system powered the first F-35B STOVL flight on June 11, 2008. Further, the F135-PW-400 powered the first F-35C CV flight on June 7, 2010.

With the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, it is the first time that the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps have fielded a "tri-service" strike fighter. The F-35 program also includes participation from eight partner nations being the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, Canada, Australia, Denmark and Norway. Currently, more than 40 companies from all of the eight partner nations are engaged in the Pratt & Whitney F135 fighter engine program.

As of July 2013, Pratt & Whitney had delivered 103 F135 production engines to Lockheed Martin. In May 2014, Pratt & Whitney delivered engine #137, the first F135 engine produced at the company's new 97,000 square-foot production facility in West Palm Beach. By June 2015, 183 production engines had been delivered.

In October 2013, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) awarded a $1.1 billion contract to Pratt & Whitney for the sixth lot of F135 engines. The contract was for 38 engines, including 18 F135-PW-100 engines for the F-35A, seven F135-PW-400 engines for the F-35C, and six F135-PW-600 engines for the F-35B. On October 14, 2014, the DoD awarded Pratt & Whitney a $943 million contract for the seventh lot of engines (36 units).

Source: U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), Pratt & Whitney (United Technologies),
and Rolls-Royce plc.

Engine Type:

Two-Spool Afterburning Turbofan Engine


F-35 Lightning II (F-35A; F-35B; F-35C)


In Production


Pratt & Whitney (United Technologies)

Price/Unit Cost:

$13.75 to $32.49 million (in FY 2015)

General Electric F414-GE-400 Turbofan Engine

Last Update: June 8, 2015.

By Joakim Kasper Oestergaard Balle /// (

External Resources:

Pratt & Whitney's F135 Site: Pratt & Whitney F135
Official F135 Site: Pratt & Whitney F135

YouTube: Pratt & Whitney F135 | YouTube Videos

Fact Sheet: Pratt & Whitney F135
Fact Sheet: Pratt & Whitney F135 CTOL
Fact Sheet: Pratt & Whitney F135 STOVL
Fact Sheet: Pratt & Whitney F135 CV
Fact Sheet: Rolls-Royce LiftSystem


Engine Specifications: Pratt & Whitney F135-PW-100/400/600

Manufacturer: Pratt & Whitney (United Technologies)
Thrust: 28,000 pounds or 43,000 pounds with afterburner
Rolls-Royce LiftSystem:
Lift Fan (STOVL): 20,000 pounds
3BSM (STOVL): 18,000 pounds
Roll Posts (STOVL): 2x 1,950 pounds
Overall Pressure Ratio at Maximum Power: 28
Thrust-to-Weight Ratio: Unknown
Compressor: Two spool, axial flow, three-stage fan
LP-HP Compressor Stages: 0-6
HP-LP Turbine Stages: 1-1
Combustor Type: Annular
Engine Control: FADEC
Length: CTOL/CV: 220 in (5.59 m); STOVL: 369 in (9.37 m)
Diameter: 51 in (1.30 m)
Dry Weight: Unknown
Platforms: F-35 Lightning II
F135-PW-100: F-35A
F135-PW-400: F-35C
F135-PW-600: F-35B
Price/Unit Cost:
F135-PW-100: $13.75 million (in FY 2015)
F135-PW-400: $13.75 million (in FY 2015)
F135-PW-600: $32.49 million (in FY 2015)
First Run: Unknown
First Flight:
CTOL: December 15, 2006
STOVL: June 11, 2008
CV: June 7, 2010

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