Pratt & Whitney wins ‘major’ contract to build fighter jet engines

By:  Jason Newton
WTNH News 8

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (WTNH)–They’re still busy building engine’s for the “f-35” fighter jet, but on Monday, more good news was announced for Pratt and Whitney.

The company will exclusively build engines for the next generation Air Force B-21 bomber. The contract will keep them busy for the next couple decades, with an order of 100 engines over 20 years.

As the weather warms up this week, those at La Boca Mexican Restaurant in Middletown are hoping the news out of nearby Pratt and Whitney will bring in more warm bodies who are willing to spend cash.

“I think it’s a great thing,” said Ryan Murphy, a La Boca bartender. “They’re a huge company. A lot of our customers are from Pratt and Whitney.”

The announcement came Monday that Pratt and Whitney was picked to exclusively manufacture the engine for the Air Force’s new B-21 long range bomber. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) sits on the Senate Appropriations Committee, and calls this a major contract.

“This is going to mean jobs in Middletown, jobs in East Hartford,” Sen. Murphy said Monday.

The program is still highly classified, so details are few as to if this new contract will create any new jobs. But it’s certainly good news for the local economy.

“That means a new steady stream of work coming not just to Middletown, but to the literally hundreds of suppliers that feed into that plant in Middletown,” Sen. Murphy said.

That’s good news — literally — for Main Street. As it cuts through the city center, the busy Middletown stretch is poised to benefit when people have more money to spend.

“Business begets business,” Murphy said back at La Boca. “The more people that come to Main Street, and experience one thing, they see something to try next time. Helps everybody.”

The Air Force is also looking for the public’s help in naming the new bomber. They’ve started a contest to see who comes up with the name they eventually will select.