The F-35 joint program office aims to complete necessary modifications to the F-35 aircraft to remain on track forÂ initial operational test and evaluation in November, Defense News reported Thursday.
Air Force Col. Varun Puri, test director for the F-35 JPO, notedÂ on Sept. 14 that the Pentagon needs to rapidly pass test points and accept risks if it wants to conclude operational assessments for the fighter jet by July 2019,Â despite a two-month delay.
The F-35 JPO recently announced thatÂ a majority of the Lockheed Martin-built fighter jets are ready for mission deployment after being inspected for a faulty fuel tube.
Pratt & Whitney is working onÂ purchasing additional parts to clear the remaining F-35 planes for operational flight in the coming weeks.
The Joint Strike Fighter Operational Test Team also aims to avoid or at least reduce repeated tests to meet the July 2019 deadline and lessen potential causes for flight cancellations.
Puri addedÂ that the IOT&E process could be initiated in as late as Sept. 2019, which poses as a risk because the F-35 JPO has not determined if its needs additional funding if tests are further delayed.