US Air Force sees delay in operational use of F-35
Written by Reuters, Monday, 12 March 2012
"It will move to the right," Lieutenant General Herbert Carlisle, deputy chief of staff for operations, plans and requirements, told a conference hosted by Credit Suisse and defense consultant Jim McAleese.
Carlisle said the new radar-evading warplane built by Lockheed Martin Corp would reach "initial operational capability" only after achieving certain milestones, including software development, operational test and establishment of a crew of maintainers, Reuters reports.
Air Force officials now expected those milestones to be achieved "later in the decade" given the Pentagon's plan to postpone orders for 179 planes over the next five years, a move projected to save $15.1 billion through fiscal 2017.
The slowdown in production has been widely expected to result in delays in operational use of the new aircraft, which is being developed by the United States and eight international partners.
But Carlisle's comments provided the first clear indication that the Air Force will not start using its new warplanes until after 2016 - a fact that could be problematic for some of the eight initial development partners, who are counting on the new plane to replace their existing fighter fleets.
The delay could also have ramifications for U.S. efforts to sell the radar-evading supersonic jet to other foreign countries.
Carlisle said the Air Force would carry out service life extensions and add capabilities to existing F-16 fighters to bridge the gap, but had not changed its plan to buy a total of 1,763 F-35 fighters over the next decades.
Top stories this week
- East Libya forces claim control of Benghazi Islamist holdout
- SA shipbuilding sector waiting for SA Navy tender finalisation to showcase capabilities
- Amatola departs on epic European adventure
- Iranian Navy logistics vessel undergoing repairs in Durban
- New Joint Ops Chief brings 40 plus years of military experience to the post
- Zambian military on chemical offensive against maize munching pest
- Zambian Air Force interested in additional Chinese aircraft
- Bail granted in sedition case of Zambian opposition leaders
- Zambian opposition leaders to be charged with sedition
- Zambian police acquire Maverick and Marauder vehicles
- Public debut for Zambian L-15s
- Zambian High Court refuses to block Lungu’s inauguration
- Zambia opposition misses deadline for election challenge
- Prostitution “easiest way out” for Zambia’s drought-stricken farmers
- Zambian Air Force to display L-15 fighter-trainers at AAD
Denel on track to meet contract with Namibia
by Denel Corporate, 20 January 2017
The defence company will deliver armoured patrol vehicles and light-weight remote weapon systems to Namibia within the next four months.
Airbus sells its shares in Atlas Elektronik
by AIRBUS Defence & Space, 13 January 2017
The company has entered into an agreement to sell its 49% share in Atlas Elektronik Group to thyssenkrupp.
Thales to equip the French forces with Spy'Ranger mini reconnaissance UAVs
by Thales, 10 January 2017
The mini surveillance and reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicle has been chosen by the French Defence Procurement Agency.