Program Chief: Software Problems Could Delay F-35’s Delivery Beyond 2017

Bob Brewin | Nextgov | April 25, 2013

Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, program executive officer for the $397 billion F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, told Senate lawmakers yesterday he has concerns that software development challenges could further delay delivery of combat ready aircraft slated to complete final testing by 2019.

Contractor Lockheed Martin Corp. is developing the software in blocks, with the final version for combat-ready planes due in 2017, followed by a two-year period of initial operational tests and evaluation.

Bogdan told the Senate Armed Services Committee’s panel on tactical air and land forces yesterday that he is “moderately confident” that Lockheed will deliver Block 2B software, which manages weapons delivery, in 2015; and Block 3i software, the first version of software to be used in combat aircraft, in 2016. The first major block of software, which supports training flights, was completed in 2012.