F-35 Program Office: No Surprises in DOT&E Report

The F-35 program office, in a prepared statement regarding the release of the annual Director of Operational Test & Evaluation report, said the document contained “no surprises,” and that the issues in F-35 development and testing it identified are well understood and “manageable.” “We are confident the program can continue to solve these” problems, the office said. The program remains “fundamentally” on the baseline schedule set in 2011, and initial operational capability for the Air Force and Navy and for foreign users will be achieved on time, according to the statement. Program director Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, in a separate statement, said DOT&E’s comments don’t “fully address program efforts to resolve known technical challenges.” He noted that previous headline-grabbing problems—a tailhook issue for the carrier version, helmet latency and jitter, and engine “rubbing”—have all been resolved with little fanfare. The government-industry team has “a proven track record of overcoming technical challenges,” Bogdan said. He acknowledged, however, that missions systems software and the Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS), two key areas highlighted in the DOT&E report, “are the program’s top technical risks.”