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Air Platforms

F-35 software delays could hinder USMC fielding plans, DoD test chief warns

26 January 2014

A possible 13-month delay in the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter software development could spoil the US Marine Corps' (USMC's) plans to field the aircraft in mid-2015, according to a report by the chief weapons tester for the US Department of Defense (DoD) obtained by IHS Jane's .

The USMC plans to field the F-35B in 2015. (Lockheed Martin)The USMC plans to field the F-35B in 2015. (Lockheed Martin)

A final version of the report was released by the DoD on 27 January.

The 20-page document by DoD Director of Operational Test & Evaluation Michael Gilmore examines in detail the development effort from mid-2012 to mid-2013 and calls the software's performance "unacceptable".

"Initial results with the new increment of Block 2B software indicate deficiencies still exist in fusion, radar, electronic warfare, navigation, electro-optical target system, distributed aperture system, helmet-mounted display system, and datalink," the report said.



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