F-35’s IOT&E delayed till 2018

The Pentagon has been forced to admit that the final hurdle to clear the F-35 for full rate production will not happen until 2018, as predicted by its director of operational test and evaluation.

F-35B Lightning of VMFAT-501 takes off from Eglin AFB 2013
By U.S. Air Force photo by Samuel King [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

At a conference call on May 24, Frank Kendall, the DoD’s top weapons buyer, said the initial operational test and evaluation (IOT&E) will be delayed by six-months. F-35 program manager Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan disclosed that the delays were due to difficulties in getting the 23 aircraft loaded with 3F software and hardware fixes.

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