Rolls-Royce in fight for F-136 US engine deal

ROLLS-ROYCE, the aerospace company, is lobbying in the US to stop funding from being pulled on its major F-136 engine deal.<br /><br />The contract for the engines, which are for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jet, could be lost because of defence spending cuts laid out by President Obama earlier this year.<br /><br />Rolls-Royce has been developing the product in a joint business venture with General Electric (GE), the US giant. <br /><br />The pair stand to earn around $50bn (&pound;30.7bn) over the next twenty years through the project. Rolls Royce has a 40 per cent stake in the partnership, and GE 60 per cent.<br /><br />The US administration has already put up $2.5bn for research and development into the engine, but Obama announced earlier this year that he would slash funding for the project.<br /><br />A cut in funding would leave Pratt &amp; Rical, Rolls-Royce&rsquo;s rivals, as the sole supplier for the plane.<br /><br />Rolls-Royce was not available for comment yesterday, but had mooted the point in its first half results, saying &ldquo;uncertainty surrounds future funding for the F136 contract&rdquo;.