WASHINGTON Nov 6 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)