|(Photo by Darrin Russel/Lockheed Martin)
- Full Block 3F mission systems development and testing cannot be completed by May 2017, the date reflected in the most recent Program Office schedule, which is seven months later than the date planned after the 2012 restructure of the program. Although the program has recently acknowledged some schedule pressure and began referencing July 31, 2017, as the end of SDD flight test, that date is unrealistic as well. Instead, the program will likely not finish Block 3F development and flight testing prior to January 2018,...
• Insufficient time and resources to conduct all required weapons delivery accuracy (WDA) events. The program completed a surge of weapons test events in August and is analyzing the results. While some of the events appear to have been successful, several WDAs unsurprisingly had significant issues that either required control room intervention or the employment of the weapon was likely unsuccessful. Despite making some progress, the program still has not completed the full set of planned test events for Block 3F weapons in the TEMP, with 13 WDAs remaining, excluding the multiple gun scoring events, which must also be completed. Due to the limited time and funding remaining in SDD, the program has prioritized completing testing of new and deficient Block 3F mission systems capabilities over completing the remaining WDAs. While completion of Block 3F mission systems is necessary, the WDAs are also an integral part of successfully completing required development and adequate testing of full Block 3F capabilities. Each of the planned WDA events is an essential end-to-end test of the full fire-control chain. Conducting all of the WDAs is the only way to discover problems that otherwise will be realized in operational test and/or combat. For example, one of the recent AIM-120 missile WDA events required control room intervention to direct the pilot when to launch, as there were no shoot cues or launch zone indications displayed to the pilot due to an outdated AIM-120 missile attack model within the mission systems software. Due to their importance and the distinct differences among them, all of the planned WDA events must be completed during DT; otherwise, these events will have to be completed before or during IOT &E, which will delay discovery of deficiencies and the completion of IOT&E while adding to its cost.
“This was kind of a cleanup, or a closeout, of (System Development and Demonstration). It’s the closeout of JSF developmental test for Block 3F, which is a big deal because it’s for Air Force IOC, and Navy IOC,” he said….
…“I like to think of these as the last for Developmental Test,” he said. “This is like our graduation exercise before we hand the aircraft off to the operational test organizations so they can go prove it’s ready for combat. That’s very significant for us.”…
…There is a single WDA event remaining for 3F, which marks the completion for all three variants and will pave the way to the declaration of IOC for all F-35s.Now, If you are a journalist and EVER cited DOT&E as if they knew WTF they were talking about, then take a large mallet and apply it forcefully to your forehead in penance. Ye shall be known by thy flat face.
What's the lesson here? There is a reason this quote was displayed in the entryway to ASD HQ at Wright Patterson back in the 80s-Early 90s.