Bloomberg: DoD Needs $530M Extra to Finish F-35 Development Phase

F-35Defense Department officials estimate Pentagon will need an additional $530 million to finish the development phase of Lockheed Martin‘s F-35 fighter jet, Bloomberg reported Wednesday.

Anthony Capaccio writes the F-35 program office asked for the money during a closed-door review conducted by the Defense Acquisition Board last month and the DoD continues to assess how the request would be added on the department’s fiscal year 2018 budget proposal.

Joe DellaVedova, Pentagon F-35 office spokesman, told Bloomberg a majority of the $530 million funds, including $265 million for “unforeseen delays”, will be allotted for development flight tests and operational combat testing.

Michael Gilmore, director of DoD’s operational test and evaluation office, said required flight tests will not be completed until November 2018 because of issues such as a 10-month delay in the release for flight tests on the latest F-35 software.

Gilmore added in a memo that additional delay causes include software deficiency reports, insufficient progress on flight testing of combat mission systems and availability of aircraft for flights.

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