HomeNewsArticle Display

Kendall: F-35 program shows continuing progress in all aspects

An F-35A Lightning II takes off from Hill Air Force Base, Utah, March 14, 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Joshua D. King)

An F-35A Lightning II takes off from Hill Air Force Base, Utah, March 14, 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Joshua D. King)

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- The F-35 Lightning II program is on track and demonstrating "continuing progress in all aspects," Frank Kendall, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, said May 24.

Kendall spoke during a conference call with reporters after an F-35 chief executive officer roundtable meeting in Phoenix.

"There has been no change in our schedule expectations to note," he said.

The aircraft’s cost continues to come down in production, consistent with earlier projections, Kendall said.

"We remain focused on the sustainment part of the program," he said. "Increasingly, in fact, we're turning our emphasis to that because that is where we still see opportunity to further reduce cost."

International partners

The roundtable brought together a variety of stakeholders, including international partners, CEOs of the major industrial participants, U.S. military officials and Office of Secretary of Defense leadership, Kendall said.

He noted two F-35s arrived in the Netherlands earlier this week. According to the F-35 program, the planes will be in the Netherlands for three weeks for testing and to take part in an air show to introduce the fifth-generation fighter to the Dutch people.

The F-35 program, also known as the Joint Strike Fighter Program, is the Defense Department's focal point for defining affordable next-generation strike aircraft weapon systems for the Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and allies.

The F-35 will bring cutting-edge technologies to the battlespace of the future, according to the program's website.

The CEO roundtables, which are held annually, promote open communication between senior service, the Office of Secretary of Defense, and industry leadership on events and issues that have or could impact the F-35 program.

Evolving program

The joint program office will be evolving and changing as the activities that are being conducted for the F-35 change, Kendall said.

"There will be a move toward follow-on development (and) continued modernization of the aircraft, which will occur throughout its life," he said.

The F-35 is expected to be ready for its final test phase in 2018, Kendall said.

"We reviewed the status of operational test planning; there is a consensus that is likely to occur in calendar year 2018, given the realities of the schedule at this time," he said.

Flexibility is the key, Kendall said, as the program moves forward, evolves and seeks to be the most cost-effective model for sustainment.

Kendall said he has received great feedback from partners.

"The F-35 has clearly demonstrated its value to the operational community," he said. "Its operators are willing to take advantage of its many features and capabilities that they don't have in current aircraft."

The Air Force, he said, is on track to make initial operational capability later this year.

Engage

Facebook Twitter
RT @US_SOCEUR: A U.S. Air Force Logistics Readiness Airman connects fuel hoses to a MC-130J Commando II during Operation Rapid Forge in #Es
RT @AF_Wrestle: Thank you to Brig Gen Brook Leonard, a leader in the war in Iraq to defeat ISIS, for speaking to the team today about “Char…
RT @USEmbassyPH: READ: Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force and Commander, Pacific Air Forces, Visit Manila. @usairforce @PACAF #FriendsPar
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: Thank you, Dr. Nguyen Xuan Thang, for hosting today’s roundtable with Ho Chi Minh Nat’l Academy of Politics. We look f…
RT @AFSpace: #OTD in 1957 Lt. Col. David G. Simons, M.D., participated in the Manhigh II flight. The @usairforce used balloons to transport…
RT @AF_Falcons: .@AF_MSwim & @AF_WSwim took a summer trip through Europe staying on a @usairforce base for two weeks while visiting 4 diffe…
RT @AF_SBIR_STTR: About 20 or 30 companies will be selected to compete for up to $40 million at the Air Force Pitch Day for Space, planned…
RT @AFmuseum: Special thanks to TSgt.(Ret.) Richard Tung & his family for visiting! Tung was assigned to the 491st bomb group(h), 853rd Squ…
It's #NationalAviationDay! ✈️ #USAF has been a part of #aviation since its inception September 18, 1947. The… https://t.co/ESPaIUaJ1m
.@TeamEglin #Airmen drive innovation, increasing safety while saving money. https://t.co/xo30mkcHMg
RT @AFSpecOpsCmd: Callie is chillin’ with our CSAF 😎 @GenDaveGoldfein meets Callie, the only search-and-rescue dog in the @DeptofDefense,…
RT @AP_Top25: Secret's out on hard-hitting Air Force linebacker Kyle Johnson: He plans to attend graduate school, go through special forc…
Staff weather officers (SWO) from the 3d Weather Squadron were put to the test during a certification field exercis… https://t.co/wcGL2Dr2a1
RT @INDOPACOM: Man’s best friend is also his best protector, but even #MilitaryWorkingDogs need to retire eventually. The service members o…
RT @USAFHealth: Airmen with the 375th AES were headed to Travis AFB for a training mission, when a passenger on-board their commercial flig…
RT @AFW2: The @AFW2 just returned from the first-ever Warrior Care Event at USAFE! #Warriors are ready to repeat that sucess & build off th…
RT @USNationalGuard: On a frigid commute to work one morning, Master Sgt. John Lawrence, of the @OKGuard, approached a vehicle resting side…
RT @USAFRecruiting: Being a part of the @usairforce means to be a part of a total force. Join us LIVE on Wednesday at 2 p.m. CT to learn mo…
RT @PACAF: The closing ceremony for Pac Angel 19-3 #Mongolia brought together members from the U.S. military, Mongolian Armed Forces, @AusA