Unacceptable Trends

Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn III told the Credit Suisse 2009 Aerospace and Defense Conference this week in New York that the Pentagon is concerned about “cost and schedule challenges” in the F-35 program. His words: “We don’t like some of the trends we see, and we are determined not to accept those trends.” Pentagon acquisition boss Ash Carter already has indicated that F-35-maker Lockheed Martin should pay its share to rectify the situation. Lynn said the big question now is whether program officials can “make the test program more robust and more redundant” to ensure more timely development. He noted that work is ongoing to revise and restructure the program—designed to provide some 1,760 fighters for USAF and another 680 for the Navy and Marine Corps, plus more for allied partners. (AFPS report by Donna Miles)