USAF’s IOC Strike Fighters

The 12 F-35s with which the Air Force will declare initial operational capability next year are starting to deliver from Lots 6 and 7, Joint Strike Fighter Program Manager Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan told reporters Friday. Speaking by telecon from a JSF executive committee meeting in Oslo, Norway, Bogdan said the initial IOC jets from Lot 6 and Lot 7 “are scheduled to start delivering this summer.” After delivery, “most of the airplanes will need six to eight modifications, which we will bundle together to get them all done at once,” he said. Most work will get done at the Ogden Air Logistics Center at Hill AFB, Utah—the same base where IOC will be declared—and some “will have a few of those mods built in already,” he said. The rest will be performed by “field teams” dispatched from Ogden or other F-35 bases. Though Bogdan said last fall that the mod process could be a risk to IOC being declared on time, “We think we’re going to get the full complement of airplanes with the appropriate modifications to declare IOC next August through December.” (See also The F-35 on Final Approach from the December 2014 issue of Air Force Magazine.)