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The government and Lockheed Martin are scrambling to get back on schedule while fixing the overbudget project

The Pentagon confirmed a one-year delay of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, with Deputy Defense Secretary Bill Lynn facing increased pressure to get spending under control on the project.

"The development was originally projected to last an additional 30 months; we think with the additional test aircraft it will be closer to a delay of about 12 or 13 months, but I can't give you the cost numbers," according to Lynn's statement to the media.

Pentagon officials didn't say if this one-year delay will push back final release dates, but it likely will, military experts have noted. 

The Marine Corps is expected to receive the first batch of F-35s in two years, while the Air Force and Navy are expected to receive the next-generation fighter aircraft in 2013 and 2014.  Prior to Lynn's recent announcement, Lockheed Martin officials noted they were about six months behind schedule, but still expect to be able to meet the USMC release date.

Last November, a report said the program is drastically overbudget and behind schedule, which led the government to rethink its strategy moving forward.  Actual demand for the aircraft remains unknown, but there have been at least 2,500 orders placed for the U.S. military branches, with several other nations also expected to receive the aircraft in years to come.

Due to costly delays and budget miscues, the DOD will also withhold $614 million that will eventually be paid to Lockheed Martin.

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RE: A Lost Cause
By Iaiken on 2/19/2010 2:26:27 PM , Rating: 3
The PAK-FA is fitted with unusually robust high sink rate undercarriage, intended for STOL operations.

While it doesn't have any vertical hover capabilities, it is intended to have STOL capabilities and the air frame is structured to allow for future carrier based versions.

Therefore, from a technological strategy perspective, the PAK-FA renders all legacy US fighter aircraft, and the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, strategically irrelevant and non-viable after the PAK-FA achieves IOC in 2015.

The Australians are seriously reconsidering their agreement to purchase the F-35 for their air forces. With the additional delays and the requirement to meet the deliveries to the US forces before export, the PAK FA is being eyed by many nations as a viable alternative.

It is very likely that the PAK FA will follow suite with the SU-30's when it comes to international sale. The SU-30 derivatives that were sold to China and India had completely modern avionics, radar and weapons packages including glass cockpit. The fact that components are now being sourced from India, Israel, Taiwan, France, UK, China and even US manufacturers has demonstrated that the Russian arms industry has progressed far from being a sycophant catering to it's bureaucratic masters whims to one geared to turn a profit.

This could even signal a new strategic orientation for a Russian government that has no desire for a direct confrontation with the US. They are savvy enough to realize that the anti-American US allows for the existence of an anti-american military industry. It appears that many non-US analysts agree that objective of this new complex appears to the be to flood the world with enough affordable anti-american technologies that the US will have to think long and hard before attempting to project power. I've no idea what similar US analysts believe as there is practically no public information on the subject.

The laundry list of weapons systems designed to deny US technological capabilities is growing longer every year. It is also clear that deployment of these systems along side trained personnel threatens to end the current era of unopposed US access to such theaters.

And to what do we owe thanks for making this all possible? Capitalism. Export revenue profits are the absolute driving force behind the Russian arms industry. Essentially, they want to make it so that attacking other nations prohibitively expensive while making a profit.

For all the complaining people do about the cost of the Iraq war, that is nothing compared to what it would have been had the US lost numerous fighers, bombers and AWACs to Russian technology that could have been made available to them at the time. The combat "victory" in Iraq was in turn of fact, a diplomatic victory on the part of the US getting Russia to agree to continuously escalating weapons embargoes against Iraq since desert storm.

I dunno, I guess we'll just have to see where this crazy ride takes us...

"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser
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