JSF Testing, Procurement Bears Another Look

Rep. Curt Weldon says his tacair panel is concerned about the buying-before-testing approach the Pentagon is taking with the Joint Strike Fighter. The panel recommends that Congress “not increase Fiscal Year 2008 production above the five aircraft planned in Fiscal Year 2007 because of the lack of testing.” That means the panel wants to cut $241 million intended to purchase 11 of the 16 F-35s the Pentagon proposed buying in 2008. Weldon calls the problem one of “excess R&D and procurement concurrency.” The issue surfaced earlier this year, when a GAO analyst testified that such approaches led to cost overruns and schedule slips.