LONDON, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Rolls-Royce (RR.L) needs to redesign a key component of its engine for America's new Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft, fuelling a U.S. campaign to remove the company from the project, the Independent on Sunday reported.
The report said Rolls-Royce's would have to redesign a component that helps hold the engine together, which would increase costs and delay the introduction of the world's most high-tech jet. The news comes at a critical time for Rolls and its partner, General Electric (GE.N), which will learn this week whether the United States will continue funding the engine's development for another year. Rolls and GE are up against Pratt & Whitney in the race to power the JSF.
"The [engine] programme continues to operate within budget and has met all major milestones on schedule ... The engine has accumulated over 550 hours of test time, with more than 800 hours of test since the programme began," A spokesman for the Rolls/GE joint venture in the United States told the paper.
Rolls-Royce UK could not immediately be reached for comment. ($1=.6057 Pound) (Reporting by Rhys Jones; editing by Simon Jessop)
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