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F-35 full-rate production on late 2020

F-35 full-rate production on late 2020 October 21, 2019

The F-35 full-rate production decision will not be before late 2020 according to Pentagon.

The delay is related to infrastructural capacity of test range. There is a lack of progress with the Joint Simulation Environment (JSE) that will test the aircraft against high-end threats that it cannot replicate on the range. Pentagon is reluctant to push the full-rate production (FRP) button without that test.

Ellen Lord, the undersecretary of defence for Acquisition and Sustainment (A&S), told reporters that this announcement means the FRP decision will not be made before December 2020 or January 2021.

High-end missions mean highly-integrated air defence networks. Pentagon wants to see aircraft performance on such missions via simulators.

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