IAM Joins Congressman Larson to Announce $462 Million F135 Investment, Safeguarding Thousands of IAM Jobs

Rep. John B. Larson (D-Conn.) recently announced $497 million in funding to support F135 engine modernization, which supports thousands of Connecticut manufacturing jobs and nearly 100 suppliers across the state.

Thousands of IAM members at District 26, Local 700 in Middletown, Conn., and Local 1746 members in East Hartford, Conn. at both Pratt & Whitney Connecticut facilities manufacture, repair, and produce parts for commercial and military engines, including the KC-46 air refueling tanker, F-35 joint strike fighter, and the A320 commercial airliner.

“We will always fight hard on Capitol Hill for our members at Pratt & Whitney,” said IAM International President Brian Bryant. “I want to personally thank Rep. Larson for advocating on behalf of our members and the F-35 Lightning II program. Our members in Connecticut are very highly skilled and they deserve this investment to support the F135 modernization.” 

“The F135 is the most advanced, reliable, and capable production fighter engine the world has ever known and supports thousands of good-paying manufacturing jobs here in Connecticut,” said Larson. “I am thrilled to announce that we secured full funding for engine modernization in this year’s government funding package, and defeated a costly alternative engine that would cost taxpayers billion and imperil our state’s manufacturing supply chain. Securing Pratt and Whitney as the sole supplier of engines for the F-35 ensures the best machinists and engineers in the world will keep the eagle flying right here in Connecticut for years to come.” 

“This is another boost for the aerospace industry and our IAM District 26 members,” said Jeff Santini, IAM District 26 Directing Business Representative. “Once again, Congressman Larson has stood strong for the Union workers in Connecticut. This proves how much our members’ skill sets are valued in this industry. We continue to build and maintain the best products in the world and this investment proves it.”

As Co-Chair of the Joint Strike Fighter Caucus, Rep. Larson led a coalition of the IAM and bipartisan members of Congress in support of engine modernization and against a costly alternative engine to the Connecticut-built F135

“Our members in Connecticut are proud to be the sole supplier of engines for the world’s most advanced fighter aircraft,” said IAM Eastern Territory General Vice President David Sullivan. “I applaud Rep. Larson for his dedication to ensure we invest in this program to help stabilize this production line. The IAM is honored to play a vital role in protecting our men and women in uniform.”

On March 23, President Biden signed the Larson-supported government funding package into law, fully funding F135 modernization and ensuring no federal funds will be used to integrate an alternative engine, achieving a nearly three-decade goal to secure Pratt and Whitney as the sole supplier of engines for the F-35. 


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