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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: True F-14 successor?
By Chillin1248 on 2/20/2010 4:51:09 AM , Rating: 4
You would be surprised.

The AIM-120D has an 85% reliability rate, which means about 1 in every 5 missiles will be a dud. , the AIM-120 has achieved 10 BVR kills from 17 shots – a Pk or “kill probability” of 0.59 (59 percent) against benign or “dumb” targets (i.e. - Drones like the QF-4). No AIM-120 has been tested let alone operationally employed against a target with a panoply of defensive measures, so the kill ratio of the AIM-120 in modern air combat may well be much less than the operational 0.59 Pk experienced to date.


RE: True F-14 successor?
By Amiga500 on 2/20/2010 7:30:57 AM , Rating: 4
It was deployed in Kosovo... with what were basically quite alarming results.

There was an AFM article on it a few years back talking about the Yugo MiG-29s... most lacking radar and RWR... yet the AMRAAMs still had kill percentages in single digits!

Of course, the AMRAAM has moved on to the C-7 since, and the D version is the latest... I'm also sure the seeker has moved on. However, all medium and long range AAMs currently struggle to out maneuvre an evading adversary (rule of thumb: they need approx 4x the maneuvering to guarantee a kill) due to their size (rocket motor too big). The AMRAAM is particularly susceptible as its fins bleed off energy at a faster rate in high-g maneuvering than the lattices of, say, an AA-12 (which are worse at around Mach 1... which is pretty much a too low an energy state to kill in anyway).

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