The F-35 System Program Office agrees with the facts but not the conclusions of a Monday Pentagon Inspector General report on the F135 engine. The report said an inspection showed Pratt & Whitney needs more oversight from the program office in six areas, but the SPO said doing so is unnecessary and would add cost and schedule growth. The IG called for more attention overall and said the SPO was applying insufficient risk management practices, and not doing enough to ensure software quality. The SPO said the issues are “already well understood and carefully managed.” P&W military engines president Bennett Croswell said “we have a culture of continuous improvement” and “we dissect every contractor performance report we receive.” Pratt lost its Earned Value Management System certification from the Defense Contract Management Agency in 2013 due to noncompliance with four of 32 EVMS guidelines. Consequently, five percent of several F135 contract payments is withheld until re-certification, which Croswell expects will happen “early next year.”
Lessons from the KC-46 and F-35 will prove useful for the testing community in the years to come, said Nickolas Guertin, the nominee to be director of operational test and evaluation for the Pentagon, told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Oct. 19.