New F-35s Delayed Again to April 2024 Over Software Problems to Fire Weapons
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Lockheed Martin will once again delay its delivery of the latest upgraded versions of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to the US armed forces because of continued problems in the software needed to fire its weapons, the company said in a Wednesday statement.
"We have updated our F-35 TR-3 schedule projections with a first TR-3 aircraft delivery between April and June 2024. As a result, we now expect to deliver 97 aircraft in 2023, all in the TR-2 configuration," Lockheed said.
Delivery of the long-delayed and problem-plagued TR-3 version of the aircraft was previously due to start this December, but the software still has to be validated in testing, the company said.
"We are producing F-35s at a rate of 156 per year and expect to continue at that pace while simultaneously working to finalize TR-3 software development and testing. Additionally, we remain focused on receiving the necessary hardware from our suppliers to deliver this critical combat capability for the F-35," Lockheed said.
Lockheed also confirmed the latest delay in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), saying it did not expect the changed production timeline to impact the company's 2023 financial outlook.