Vice Adm. David Venlet Outlines New Lockheed F-35 Testing Criteria

Lockheed Martin will have to meet five testing requirements marking assembly and software progress before receiving a new set of F-35 contracts, Bloomberg reports.

The Bethesda, Md.-based security and aerospace contractor will have to pass a review for block three software, show progress in improving speed of retrofits and show progress in meeting 2012 flight test and durability test goals, according to the report.

Once the company passes the review, it can receive a contract for six F-35 jets (click over to GovCon Wire for more on the F-35 program).

On Tuesday, the company announced it completed 123 test flights for a total of 223 flight hours in March.

Navy Vice Adm. David Venlet, the Pentagon’s F-35 program manager, told the Senate Armed Services subcommittee on airpower that software development and flight-test execution will remain the major focus.

He added that the company has agreed to the new plan, designed to address overlap between production and testing.

Such overlap often requires the company to provide retrofits on assembled planes that affect schedule and cost for hardware, software, test and production, Vinlet added.

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