JET is “Still a Work in Progress”

That’s how Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morell described the latest analysis of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program by the Joint Estimating Team. Press reports have circulated (first from Inside Defense) that the new assessment essentially confirms that the cost and schedule problems found last year still persist. At the Pentagon late last week, Morrell refused to get into specific numbers “because numbers can change” since “the analysis continues.” However, he confirmed that Pentagon acquisition chief Ashton Carter—but not Defense Secretary Robert Gates—had received the first of three briefings on the latest JET work. Morrell called the JET analysis “important” to the budget process, but he also said it offered a “worst-case assessment” while the program office is “generally much more optimistic.” Continue