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 @TeamFairchild: #TeamFairchild’s 97th Air Refueling Squadron successfully completed their first mission as our newest squadron! This mis…
#MilitaryWorkingDogs have a strict diet that corresponds with their constant training regimen, but sometimes treats… https://t.co/0PWQtw7rwE
RT @thejointstaff: Meet #SEAC4 Ramon "CZ" Colon-Lopez and learn more about his role as the Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman and the…
RT @AirForceCE: Welcome to the Lock Shop! 🔐 Securing everything from assets to machinery, the shop plays an integral role in the larger Ai…
Have no Fear: MilTax is here! Military OneSource offers free tax prep for active duty service members and their fa… https://t.co/8TGP8ro32o
RT @AFWERX: The @usairforce just officially announced the #SparkTank2020 selectees! Congratulations to all the teams who will be presenting…
RT @USAmbNATO: I am very proud of our 🇺🇸 @usairforce airmen from the 57th Rescue Squadron who have been in 🇮🇹 #Italy training personnel rec…
RT @DVIDSHub: The #A10 Thunderbolt II is a slow yet maneuverable aircraft capable of taking and throwing hits that would render other aircr…
RT @AETCommand: There are few missions requiring years to plan/prep, only to be accomplished in less than 6 seconds. Courtesy @AirmanMagaz
Combat rescue helicopter pilots and crew undergo intensive underwater-egress training to prepare for worst-case sce… https://t.co/Z9z1kHAmay
RT @US_TRANSCOM: Look at this amazing photo of @usairforce and @RCAF_ARC C-130 Hercules aircraft taking off from #LittleRockAirForceBase. @…
Check out what's happening around the #AirForce this week! https://t.co/MCM1NiVAEN
Ice, Ice Baby ❄️❄️🌬️ Fire protection specialists at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska practice self-recover… https://t.co/tSSMzACZyz
Great job @CivilAirPatrol. 9 lives saved this year! https://t.co/43ICzmOMaX
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: Privileged to spend time at our annual Weapons & Tactics Conference @NellisAFB where leaders of our combat power meet…
RT @AETCommand: Thanks @EsperDoD for visiting our 479th Flying Training Group team at @NASPCOLA! #DYK the group is the @usairforce's only…
RT @theF35JPO: Because we all love a bit of F-35 #slowmo. Watch an #F35 release flares in #slowmotion at @EdwardsAFB. ⚡ https://t.co/AIRCGL…
RT @US_SOCEUR: U.S. #airmen assigned to the 352d Special Operations Wing fly a CV-22B #Osprey aircraft over #Hungary. https://t.co/sSmjq90S…
RT @HQ_AFMC: It's another #NightAtTheMuseum event at the @AFmuseum this Friday when a special evening to celebrate the final days of the Ca…