Stand by the F-35

Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz said he’s sure there will be some “surprises” in the F-35 flight test program, but overall, he feels it’s safe to bet on the program’s success. “We’ve invested billions in risk reduction” on the F-35, Schwartz said. He continued, saying things always pop up in flight test, but he asked rhetorically: “Will there be something that puts the whole program in jeopardy? I don’t think so.” Many lessons were learned from the F-22, Schwartz said, and these have been vigorously applied to the F-35. Software was a huge pacing factor on the F-22, for example, but it’s being managed well on the F-35, removing a major element of risk. (Also see Eglin to Begin Initial F-35 Training, Production to Ramp Up)