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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: They're actually right on schedule
By werepossum on 2/19/2010 5:53:46 PM , Rating: 2
It's the same old story all over again so I'll just repost one of my previous posts: If you observe the government's habits long enough, you'll see these things. The F-22's production run was ended under the pretense that attention was going to be diverted to the JSF, and that we'd buy additional F-35's. Once the F-22 production line was closed down it was time to announce that F-35 production is going to be reduced as well, with funds ostensibly being used for some other project which in turn will be canceled. Doing this effectively butters defense contractor' palms without actually being used for much. In the end, foreign orders will probably be dramatically reduced and we'll get the "low cost" F-35 for about the same price as the "expensive" F-22. Government waste at its finest.

Probably all true. Is the F-35 actually the new F-111 Aardvark?

RE: They're actually right on schedule
By rcc on 2/22/2010 2:54:02 PM , Rating: 2
Ah the Texas Gooney Bird. Anyone who has seen the Carrier trials for the F111 will know why it's such a problem to get the Air Force and Navy to use the same designs.

Which shouldn't be unexpected, they have very different operational criteria and requirements.

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