The U.S. Air Force plans to start operational use of Lockheed Martin Corp.-built F-35 fighter jets in mid-2016, a year earlier than planned, using a similar software package as the Marine Corps, two sources familiar with the plans said on Monday.An industry marketing puke must have been the "source", because:
The Air Force's decision to accelerate its introduction with a slightly less capable version of the F-35 software package means the planes will carry fewer weapons at first, although the software will later be upgraded to the final version, said the sources, who were not authorized to speak publicly.
Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said a final decision had not been made and declined to comment further. A spokesman for the Pentagon's F-35 program office declined to comment.
Marines-check, USAF-maybe, what about Navy?
The Navy has set mid-2018 for starting operational use of its C-model F-35, which is designed for use aboard U.S. aircraft carriers. Its deadline or threshold date is early 2019.
Once it can trap reasonably well and pass an OPEVAL; pencil-whipped or otherwise.
"This decision gets that (U.S.) fifth-generation capability out on the front lines that much sooner," said one of the sources familiar with the Air Force's plans. "It also sends a message about confidence in the program to Congress and the international partners."
Not surprisingly, the "source" smells like a LM Marketing Puke.
The Air Force will have about 100 F-35s by 2016, when it plans to declare the planes ready for operational use.
Many without TR-2 hardware needed to run Block 3 software.
The big question is will 2B software allow for ROVER and Blue-Force-Tracker ability? If not, its' value to a joint operational commander will be nil.
Billions for a pet theory.
Analysis? Someone said; "We have to get this POS into a faux-operational squadron before a massive budget cut plan ...eventually strangles it."
Goals, priorities and the best use of your taxpayer dollars.