Brig. Gen. Sarah Zabel, the head of cyber operations and information dominance programs on the Air Staff, said the Air Force must focus on making cyber security requirements unambiguous up front. Information and cyber security is a paramount concern, especially since most of USAF’s major acquisition programs, such as the F-35, are heavily dependent on the development of secure information systems, Zabel told reporters at AFA’s Air & Space Conference in National Harbor, Md., on Monday. When a major system is acquired, and it takes years to work through requirements, cyber security is all too often brought up at the end of the cycle, she said. We want system administrators to know what to do from the beginning, how they can protect themselves on protocols, and ensure fidelity throughout the entire acquisition process. “I think in the past we haven’t done as good a job articulating those requirements up front,” she said.
The Pentagon awarded a $2.02 billion contract for Lot 17 of F-35 engines to contractor Pratt & Whitney on June 5. Work on the F135 engine is expected to be completed by December 2025.