Fixed and Waiting to be Fixed

Most of the problems critics have trumpeted as indications of the “failure” of the F-35 program are fixed or nearly so, and are “not even on my top-10 worry list,” Joint Strike Fighter Program Director Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan said Tuesday. Talking with reporters at his Arlington, Va., office, Bogdan said the list of things that are “fixed” include the fuel dump issue, the carrier-model tailhook, lightning strike protection, the aftermath of last year’s engine fire, and the jittery helmet displays. Though all those corrections have not yet been “fielded and tested,” Bogdan said he’s convinced they’re fully understood and being resolved; the engine problem that caused a jet to burn last year will be fully resolved “this summer,” he said. “My big list” of real worries, he added, are software, the ALIS (autonomic logistics information system) reliability, and maintainability. While the A and C versions are “close to where they’re supposed to be” on the R&M learning curve, the B model “not so much,” he said. (See also Bogdan: F-35 Schedule Low Risk)