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F-35 programme passes milestone but coronavirus casts a shadow

5th March 2020 - 14:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


USAF General Eric Fick, programme executive officer for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Program Office confirmed that the 500th aircraft was delivered on 1 March.

A total of 135 aircraft were completed in 2019.

According to a 4 March DoD statement, Belgium, Israel, Italy, Japan, Norway, Poland, Singapore and the United Kingdom are expected to also place orders for the F-35 Lightning II.

Fick said: ‘last year, the average combat mission capability rate was 73.2% - nearly 20% better than in 2018.’

Despite this progress, he acknowledged that the organisational structure of the F-35 programme has been ‘difficult to navigate for those on the inside and difficult to understand for those on the outside’.

A new organisational construct ‘better aligns authority and accountability to the programme deliverables and outcomes’, Fick claimed.

However, there are reports from DoD officials that Leonardo’s F-35 production line in Italy and the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries production line in Japan have been closed temporarily as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

This could pose a significant short-term risk to the F-35 procurement programme outside the US.


The Shephard News Team


The Shephard News Team

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