Alternate F-35 jet engine funded until March 4

COLUMBUS, Ohio — US Sen. Sherrod Brown says funding will continue for an alternate engine for the Pentagon's next-generation F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jet.
Brown and fellow US Democratic Sens. John Kerry and Patrick Leahy had sent a letter to US Department of Defense Secretary Robert Gates last week stating Congress intended to fund the engine program through March 4 despite the Pentagon's opposition to it.
The US Department of Defense said in a statement Thursday that Gates continues to oppose the need for an extra engine and that current funding isn't due to a change in position but is being implemented because the prior year's funding expired. Funding is still slated to end March 4.
The engine is being developed by a General Electric Co. unit outside Cincinnati. Connecticut-based GE makes the engine with London-based Rolls-Royce.
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