November 6, 2007 / 5:21 PM / 10 years ago

U.S. defense bill will fund 2nd engine for F-35

WASHINGTON, Nov 6 (Reuters) - U.S. Senate and House of Representatives negotiators said on Tuesday they had agreed to preserve funding for two competing engines to power Lockheed Martin Corp's (LMT.N) new F-35 fighter aircraft.

The Pentagon had sought to cancel funding for the alternative engine, being built by a team that includes Rolls-Royce Group Plc (RR.L) and General Electric Co (GE.N).

But congressional negotiators working on the fiscal 2008 defense spending bill decided to provide $480 million to continue development of that interchangeable engine. It will compete against an engine developed by United Technologies (UTX.N) for the jet's earliest versions.

The F-35 program, also known as the Joint Strike Fighter, is the Pentagon's costliest weapons-buying plan. (Reporting by Jim Wolf; editing by John Wallace)

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