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Lockheed’s F-35 Still Falls Short, Pentagon’s Tester Says

  • Fighter is ‘on a path toward failing to deliver,’ Gilmore says
  • Memo came a week after Air Force declared its version ready
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Photographer: Matt Cardy/Getty Images
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A week after the Air Force declared its version of Lockheed Martin Corp.’s F-35 jet ready for limited combat operations, the Pentagon’s top tester warned that the U.S. military’s costliest weapons program is still riddled with deficiencies.

“In fact the program is actually not on a path toward success but instead on a path toward failing to deliver” the aircraft’s full capabilities, “for which the Department is paying almost $400 billion by the scheduled end” of its development in 2018, Michael Gilmore, the Defense Department’s director of operational testing, said in an Aug. 9 memo obtained by Bloomberg News.