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Standing Pat on Alternate Engine: Pentagon leaders believe that their plan to continue with only one engine-maker for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter is "still valid," in the words of Marine Corps Gen.James Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He and Defense Secretary Robert Gates, in fielding reporters' questions at the Pentagon Aug. 13, said they were not alarmed by a purported single year 24 percent cost increase for the Pratt & Whitney F135 that powers the F-35. Gates said, "There is always cost growth associated with a developmental aircraft." Continue