Skies still not clearing fast for the fighter–at Aviation Week and Space Technology:
Testing Chief Warns Of JSF Software Delays
Development of the Block 3F version of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) cannot be completed on the current schedule—by July 31, 2017—without shortcuts that risk failure in the initial operational test and evaluation (IOT&E) program, according to Michael Gilmore, the Pentagon’s director of OT&E (&E [website here]). Block 3F is the culmination of the system development and demonstration (SDD) phase and conforms to the requirements set at the start of the program.
A Dec. 11 memorandum from Gilmore to Frank Kendall, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, and Gen. Paul Selva, vice chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also warns that the program is risking trouble by attempting to define Block 4, the first post-service-entry upgrade, early this year, when Block 3F and its predecessor, Block 3i, are still “problematic” and performing poorly in testing.
Also, the program office has yet to order essential equipment for specialized software laboratories that are needed to support operational testing and initial operational capability (IOC), with the result that there will not be enough capacity when it is required.
The JSF Program Office (JPO) acknowledges it has pulled tests out of the program and that each of the software blocks—including Block 3F-—will enter service with deficiencies. In the case of Block 3F, these will have to be remedied as part of Block 4, JPO says, and it will be up to customers to decide whether all the deficiencies need to be fixed and when…
Lots more at the article.