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F136 Sweetener: The F136 team of General Electric and Rolls-Royce announced Tuesday that it has extended its fixed-price proposal for F-35 joint strike fighter engines with price reductions through 2014, offering to "assume the risk of meeting or beating price targets for early production engines" and setting up "lower pricing" between the GE/RR F136 and Pratt & Whitney F135. David Joyce, GE Aviation president and CEO, said, "We can create a competitive environment that will save the government $1 billion over the next five years, and $20 billion over the life of the JSF program." The F136 team offered a shorter-term fixed-price deal last fall, but Pentagon officials remained unconvinced that maintaining an alternate engine program would produce savings. Already this year, Defense Secretary Bob Gates said he would "strongly recommend" a veto for any bill that continues F136 funding, a threat that surprised many lawmakers. (F136 team April 27 release; also see GE/RR Fighter Engine Team Web site)