Sep 26, 2014

F-35: Combat ready next year, new Israeli order close, 'On Track' for Carrier Tests in November

The first version of the F-35 fighter jet will be combat ready by mid-2015, despite an engine failure which still needs a fix, and Israel could sign a deal within months to buy more of the aircraft, program officials said on Thursday.
The F-35 is on track to conduct trials aboard a US Navy aircraft carrier in November, but there are still variables as to what may be tested, the program’s top official said today.
“The November deployment will happen,” Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, the head of the F-35 joint program office, said during a news briefing in Oslo. “It will most likely happen with two airplanes. Whether both those airplanes are fully capable of doing all the work remains to be seen.”
“We have some work to do as we lead up to that point in November,” he added.
That work will decide what trials the pair of F-35C models will end up performing while aboard the US Navy’s carrier Nimitz, located off the west coast of the US. The biggest question is whether both jets can perform catapult launch and arrestment trials or if only one is ready for that.

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