Thursday, May 23, 2013

USAF to field F-35 one year earlier than planned

In case you missed the news:
Lockheed Martin's F-35 Joint Strike Fighter will be in operational use by the U.S. Air Force in mid-2016, a year ahead of schedule, Reuters reports.

The Air Force said the plane will operate with a slightly less capable software package similar to that of the U.S. Marine Corp. The fighter jet later will see a software upgrade to provide full capabilities. 
The Air Force has obviously taken a look at what the USMC is doing and see's advantages in forming it's tactical squadrons early even with a less capable plane.  This will allow faster training and integration of the pilots and planes when they're fully capable.  It will also allow the Air Force to begin squadron operations early, begin to develop and practice some basic tactics with the aircraft and be a step ahead when the final software is ready.  It also means they've seen enough progress in testing to feel confident in the move.

A smart move in my estimation.


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