Review of F-35 program delayed

A high-level Pentagon review of Lockheed Martin Corp’s F-35 fighter program has been delayed until later in the year to allow time to gain more test and production data, the Defense Department said on Wednesday.

Cheryl Irwin, Pentagon spokeswoman said the meeting of the Defense Acquisition Board, which includes senior defense officials including Defense Undersecretary Ashton Carter, had been deferred a few months to incorporate information from the fiscal year 2013 budget process and to include the latest updates to the program’s schedule.

The meeting of the panel would likely be rescheduled sometime in October, said a senior defense official who was not authorized to speak on the record.

At the meeting, the panel is due to establish a new procurement baseline for the radar-evading F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, currently estimated to cost $382 billion.The review was initially expected in late May, and had been set for mid-June before the current delay.

The F-35 JSF  is a joint, multinational acquisition program for the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and eight cooperative international partners. Expected to be the largest military aircraft procurement ever, the stealth, supersonic F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (F-35) will replace a wide range of aging fighter and strike aircraft for the U.S.

Source: Reuters, GlobalSecurity.org

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