Pentagon providing misleading answers on F-35, testing chief says

|By:, SA News Editor

Defense Department officials have been preparing a misleading assessment of progress on Lockheed Martin’s (NYSE:LMT) F-35 weapons program, the DoD’s chief tester warns, a position at odds with the Pentagon’s narrative that the program is on course after earlier problems.

Among several assertions challenged in a DoD draft response to questions about F-35 testing from Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman McCain: Claims that operational combat testing that all weapons systems must pass will start in mid-2018 and be completed a year later are “false,” as the tests will commence “no sooner than late 2018, or, more likely, in early 2019 but could be as late as 2020.”

Pres.-elect Trump must decide next year whether to meet the Pentagon's request to increase F-35 production to 70 in FY 2018 from 63 this year; Trump, who just complained about "out of control" costs of the new Air Force One, also has raised some questions in the past about the F-35.

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