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. Speaking with reporters after an F-35 CEO meeting, Bogdan said USAF will have 12 jets, fully functioning 3i software—with much improved stability—and “four out of five” of the capabilities wanted out of the Autonomic Logistics Information System, meeting the bulk of IOC criteria, by August. “We’ll let the Air Force decide” if that’s good enough for IOC, Bogdan said. The hangup with the fifth element is that engine data from Pratt & Whitney won’t be integrated with ALIS until the October-November timeframe. Still, that will beat the deadline of December for meeting all IOC criteria, even if it misses the August goal, he said.
Top lawmakers on Capitol Hill announced Dec. 2 that they have reached a deal to extend the continuing resolution funding the government into February. Now, the House and Senate will have to scramble to pass the legislation by 11:59 p.m. Dec. 3 to avoid a temporary shutdown.