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Lockheed F-35 Full-Production Decision, Key Test Delayed

  • Simulation testing scheduled for December isn’t ready to begin
  • Report on full-rate production had been expected next March
A Lockheed Martin Corp. F-35 fighter jet.
A Lockheed Martin Corp. F-35 fighter jet.Photographer: Christopher Pike/Bloomberg
Updated on

Pentagon officials have delayed approving full-rate production of Lockheed Martin Corp.’s F-35 jet because combat simulation testing that’s needed before that key decision on the $398 billion program has slipped into next year.

The testing that was originally scheduled for 2017 and most recently for December has been postponed again because of difficulties finishing technical preparations. Now, both the testing and the production decision “are scheduled in 2021,” Jessica Maxwell, spokeswoman for Defense Department acquisition chief Ellen Lord, said in a statement.