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Connecticut’s Defense Industry

Yankee Ingenuity and a tradition of manufacturing expertise have - for generations - positioned Connecticut as a leader in Defense Manufacturing.  Thousands of Connecticut residents work on programs associated with protecting our democracy and tens of thousands more are affected by the work that occurs across our state.

Congressman Larson remains focused on working both sides of the aisle to ensure the viability of these programs, and protecting the defense and manufacturing based associated with it in Connecticut.

Rep. Larson views the F35 mock-up

F-35 Joint Strike Fighter

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, powered by the Pratt & Whitney F135 engine, represents the future of our nation’s air supremacy and a key component to our foreign policy. Not only will the United States buy more than 2,400 F-35s for use by the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps, but we’ll sell hundreds more to our allies across the globe. 

Here in Connecticut, the work associated with Pratt & Whitney’s F135 engine will support thousands of new jobs at Pratt and the hundreds of small and medium sized business that comprise the backbone of our state’s industrial base. This aircraft and its engine will truly reinvigorate the Connecticut aerospace industry and provide work for our next generation of machinists.   

The “Alternate” Engine Debate

In 2011, after years of work in both the House and Senate, Congressman Larson led a successful bipartisan effort to eliminate what was commonly referred to as the Alternate Engine from the Joint Strike Fighter program.  The Alternate Engine was a second, duplicative engine program for the Joint Strike Fighter that had been funded for years against the will of Presidents Bush and Obama and Secretaries of Defense Rumsfield and Gates.    

Eliminating the Alternate Engine remains one of my most significant accomplishments because of what it means for our state and our workforce.  Pratt & Whitney is now the only supplier of engines to the Joint Strike Fighter program.  For Connecticut and our Machinists, this means that our highly-skilled, highly trained workforce will continue to work on the military’s most advanced programs for decades to come.  By some estimates, Larson’s work is believed to have locked in more than $100 billion in business for Pratt & Whitney and their suppliers over the next 30 years.    

The Joint Strike Fighter Caucus

In Congress, Congressman Larson is committed to educating his colleagues on the importance of the Joint Strike Fighter program and was honored to be named the Co-Chair of the bipartisan Congressional Joint Strike Fighter Caucus in 2013. 

Along with Republican Co-chair, Congresswoman Kay Granger, Larson is ensuring that members of Congress have a full understanding of the important role the Joint Strike Fighter program plays in national security and the impact that any changes to the program can have on our readiness and our industrial base. Already, more than 90 of his colleagues have joined the Caucus. 


More on Connecticut’s Defense Industry

October 24, 2013 Press Release
Hartford, CT – Today, Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01), U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT), and Rep.Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) issued statements regarding the award to Pratt & Whitney of a $508 million contract for the production of 38 F-135 engines to power the F-35 strike fighters, supporting thousands of jobs in Connecticut.
October 7, 2013 Press Release

Hartford, CT – On Saturday, October 5th, Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01) joined Governor Dannel P. Malloy and the Connecticut Air National Guard to mark the new mission for the Flying Yankees, the 103rd Airlift Wing now charged with operating C-130H aircraft. With eight C-130H cargo airplanes permanently assigned to the base at Bradley, Saturday's ceremony highlighted the importance of the Connecticut Flying Yankees to the Air National Guard.

September 16, 2013 Press Release

Washington — Today, Reps. John B. Larson (CT-01) and Joe Courtney (CT-02)  announced that the U.S. Air Force will invest $12 million to upgrade a hangar at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks. The hangar is being improved in preparation for the arrival of Air National Guard C-130H cargo planes that will be based out of Bradley. The 103rd Airlift Wing of the Connecticut Air National Guard is transitioning to a C-130H mission later this year.

February 7, 2013 Press Release

Washington - Today Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01) announced he will be the co-chairman of the Congressional Joint Strike Fighter Caucus in the 113th Congress. First launched in 2011, the bi-partisan caucus is charged with garnering support for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program and keeping members informed on issues related to the programs development, testing and deployment.