Schwartz Concerned About F-35A Delays


Check this out, it's a tease from a story we'll soon be posting on out sister site, DoDBuzz:

The U.S. Air Force's top officer is concerned that delays in software engineering for the F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter could delay the service's fielding of the jet.

"I'm still concerned, concerned on schedule primarily -- a little bit less on technical matters -- software, again, appears to be a potential pacing item here and that has me concerned in terms of deliveries,"said Air Force Chief of Staff, Gen. Norton Schwartz today during a breakfast with reporters in Washington.

He went on to say that while the plane is ahead of schedule in terms of test flights, test points and has had no "failures or surprises" structurally, delays in writing code for the plane have him worrying about whether it will reach initial operational capability by early 2016.

"There are some issues with respect to timing on software development, and we don't have complete understanding on whether or not that will affect the IOC which was predicted after the Nunn-McCurdy assessment to be April of 2016," said Schwartz.

He was referring to the, so called, Nunn-McCurdy legislation which caps cost growth on major weapons buys.  The F-35 program was reorganized by the Pentagon last spring after its spiraling costs caused it to breach the cost limits laid out by that statute.

The Air Force plans to buy 1,763 of the jets, making it the largest F-35 customer in the world.

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