F-35 PEO: “any foreign partner pooling out will have an effect on the others, a ‘death spiral’”

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JSF Brain – A Cause for Concern?

F-35 PEO General Bogdan concurred with the recent GAO report that stated software integration remaining the highest risk of the F-35 program. “My first priority is to preserve the development of [software] Block 2B and 3I capabilities.” Bogdan said in his testimony. He said the current Block 2B is progressing well, and is expected to be ready to support the initial operational capability of the first F-35B squadron of the US Marine Corps in 2015. 3I is scheduled to field a year later. “I am less optimistic about Block 3F, our final capability.” Bogdan said that without some form of payback of the System Design and Development (SDD) money lost to Congressional mandated cuts and sequestration, this phase will not be able to deliver in time to support the F-35 full operational capability in 2017.

“I see more risk to the delivery of Block 3F, our full warfighting, capability by 2017.” Bogdan cautioned, saying he expects to be more informed by this summer, after the Critical Design Review, and after at least six months of flight tests with the 2B software, both of which are currently scheduled for early summer, 2013.

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Other topics addressed by Bogdan were:

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