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  #130  
28-08-2021, 16:52
   Nargila Dwarf Nargila Dwarf   
 
: 11.01.14
: 1,129
129 Fang " ..."

. .
:
Now, Kendall said, the Pentagon seems to be in a similar situation: The Air Force should be buying the F-35 that it needs—specifically the Block 4 upgrade with Technology Refresh 3, “which is having problems,” Kendall said.

TR3 includes a new core processor, a radar upgrade, and a new cockpit display, along with software updates to enhance electronic warfare capabilities. This refresh would “unlock” the jet’s Block 4 improvements. Because the Block 4 version is what the Air Force wants, negotiations have focused on fewer aircraft over the upcoming production lots. The F-35 Joint Program Office has said the TR3 upgrade will come in Lot 15, set for 2023, “as required.”

In the meantime, the Air Force is slowing its F-35 buys, calling for 48 in fiscal 2022 then 43 per year from fiscal 2023 to fiscal 2026, a 10 percent drop from its previous future years defense plan.

Skeptics question the timeline for Block 4 upgrades. The Government Accountability Office, in a March report, said the JPO’s schedule for the modernization effort was “not realistic,” with the Pentagon regularly underestimating how much work is needed to develop the upgrades.

“I think that we need to look, at this point, [at] what the appropriate production rate is to get us from where we are to when we have that capability on hand,” Kendall said. “And the contractor has not been performing very well—there have been a lot of problems with that.”




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