Negotiations between the Pentagon and Lockheed Martin
on Lots 9 and 10 of the F-35 program are still underway, but should be
concluded “soon,” Pentagon acquisition chief Frank Kendall reported.
There’s going to be a six-month delay in the start of
F-35 Initial Operational Test and Evaluation, program and Pentagon
leaders said Tuesday.
The Air Force could still decide to declare initial operational capability in August with the F-35A, but with an asterisk, program director Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan said Tuesday.
Lawmaker wishes to separate the F-35’s Block IV upgrade
program from the rest of the project—stated in the 2017 National
Defense Authorization Act—won’t slow things down, but it will add a lot
of cost, Pentagon acquisition chief Frank Kendall said.
A senator from Georgia has proposed an amendment to the
National Defense Authorization Act that would require the Air Force to
speed up the JSTARS recapitalization program.
To stave off a fighter pilot exodus and reduce the growing pilot shortage, Air Force planners are considering a myriad of approaches. But they believe increasing the retention bonus could have the most immediate impact.
More than 120 high-level Air Force officials are
planning Pacific Air Forces way forward as ongoing challenges face the
command’s area of operations.
This fiscal year, a total of 1,230 pilots—including Active Duty, Air National Guard, Reserve, and foreign military members—will graduate undergraduate pilot training, according to the Air Force. But the service is increasing class sizes to reach 1,400 pilots a year.
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