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Report: DoD to Wait for Latest Software Before Kicking Off F-35 Initial Operational Test

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The Defense Department has ordered to delay by two months the initial operational test and evaluation of the Lockheed Martin-built F-35 fighter aircraft as DoD waits for the deployment of the new software version, Defense News reported Wednesday.

Robert Behler, director of operational test and evaluation at DoD, wrote in an Aug. 24 memorandum the 30R02 software that is slated for deployment in the next couple of months “provides the latest instantiation of operationally relevant and production representative aircraft software that will better support the required testing to adequately address the remaining mission areas.”

Those areas include electronic attack, suppression of hostile air defenses, offensive counter air and air interdiction missions, according to the document obtained by Project on Government Oversight.

Behler noted that the initial evaluation phase should use the same version of the Air-to-Air Range Infrastructure software to avoid inconsistencies in the collection of test data.

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