Pentagon's F-35 chief sees possible delay on software

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 26, 2014 1:41 PM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Development of the U.S. Navy version of Lockheed Martin Corp's software could be delayed by four to six months unless changes are made, the U.S. general who runs the $392 billion program for the Pentagon told lawmakers on Wednesday.

Air Force Lieutenant General Chris Bogdan said the earlier Block 2B software was about 80 percent complete, and while he was "pretty confident" that it would be done in time for the Marines to stop using their B-model jets by mid-2015, a 30-day delay was possible.

He said he was more concerned about the need to retrofit F-35B jets already built for the Marine Corps.

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Bogdan also addressed delays in orders from international partners on the program, and said that decisions by Italy, Canada and Turkey to delay or reduce their orders could raise the cost of each remaining aircraft by 2 to 3 percent.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal)