2014-01-25T005200Z_1_CBREA0O02FB00_RTROPTP_2_USA

Pentagon F-35 program says 'laser-focused' on software issues

The F-35B variant of the Joint Strike Fighter sits on the deck of the USS Wasp off the coast of North CarolinaBy Andrea Shalal-Esa WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Pentagon’s F-35 program office on Friday said it was “laser-focused” on finishing development of the software needed for the U.S. Marine Corps to start using its Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jets from mid-2015. The Pentagon’s chief weapons tester warned in a report obtained by Reuters and published on Thursday that a possible 13-month delay in F-35 software development, coupled with maintenance and reliability problems, could delay the Marine Corps’ plans. But Air Force Lieutenant General Chris Bogdan, who runs the Pentagon’s F-35 program office, says he remains confident that Lockheed will complete the Block 2B software that gives the jet its initial combat capability in time.

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