DOD Delays Milestone C Decision for F-35 Program

DOD Delays Milestone C Decision for F-35 Program
F-35A

The Department of Defense has indefinitely postponed a final determination to let the Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter aircraft move into the full production phase due to technical and pandemic challenges that have affected combat simulation test preparations, Bloomberg reported Thursday.

Bloomberg quoted Jessica Maxwell, a spokeswoman for DOD acquisition chief Ellen Lord, as saying the rate of low-rate initial production efforts will continue as planned and that President-elect Joe Biden's transition team could receive a briefing on the program's status at an acquisition-related meeting this week.

Maxwell added that a new schedule for the crucial simulated test will depend on the findings of an independent technical review.

Laura Seal, a spokeswoman for the DOD's F-35 program office, told the publication that the office currently analyzes test requirements and expects the department to hand down a Milestone C decision by the end of February.

Lockheed delivered 74 F-35s to U.S. service branches, 31 to international partner nations and another 18 to foreign military sales customers during 2020.

You may also be interested in...

Blue Origin

Blue Origin Launches 14th New Shepard Mission With Updated Crew Capsule

Blue Origin, a space company owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, used a capsule with updated crew systems during the company's 14th mission with the New Shepard rocket. The updated capsule featured new push-to-talk communications systems, noise reduction tools, cushioned wall linings, environmental systems and a crew alert system, Blue Origin said Thursday.

Teledyne

Teledyne Subsidiary to Produce Additional Navy LCS Missile Defense Modules

A Teledyne Technologies subsidiary has secured an $18M contract from Northrop Grumman to manufacture four more missile defense systems for the U.S. Navy's littoral combat ship mission package.

Orion

Lockheed’s Orion Spacecraft Concludes Assembly, Testing for NASA’s Artemis Mission to Lunar Orbit

Lockheed Martin has sent the Orion capsule to NASA’s exploration ground systems team for final preparations ahead of the unmanned Artemis I mission to lunar orbit that will launch later this year. The spacecraft concluded assembly operations and testing at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.