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GE, Rolls-Royce team advances F136 engine

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EVENDALE, Ohio, Feb. 3 (UPI) -- Rolls-Royce and U.S. company GE's engine development partnership announced they have achieved a milestone on the new F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft engine.

GE and British company Rolls-Royce have teamed to develop the F136 engine for the F-35 Lightning II, a multirole strike fighter aircraft. The GE Rolls-Royce fighter engine team has begun testing its first production-configuration F136 engine.

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The first production-configuration development is one month ahead of the contract schedule, marking a milestone for the GE and Rolls-Royce team.

"This is our biggest milestone yet," Mark Rhodes, senior vice president of the fighter engine team, said in a statement.

"Once again, the F136 team delivered on time and on budget. With a significant temperature margin and affordable growth built into the design, the F136 will offer outstanding value."

Officials say additional F136 engine builds are scheduled to begin testing by January 2010.

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