As reported by Flight Global's Dave Majumdar, Lockheed has some good news on late F-35 deliveries.
Lockheed's chief financial officer Bruce Tanner adds, "We're going to finalize deliveries of all the LRIP [low rate initial production] 2 aircraft, all the LRIP 3 and a pretty good portion of LRIP 4 aircraft this year."
Not mentioned is that LRIP-3 work was to be completed (as stated by the DOD contract) in December 2011. LRIP-3 deliveries (17 jets) only recently started. Even if the long-delayed pilot training effort at parking-lot-Elgin AFB is stalled until sometime in 2013.
And what is with the sloth-like clearing of the full envelop? I wonder.
Still, "a pretty good portion of LRIP 4 aircraft this year" counts for something? The DOD contracts for LRIP-4 requires that the work has to be complete by March of 2013.
Back in the day (2003), LRIP-3 was to be 54 aircraft (finished in 2010); LRIP-4, 91 (finished in 2011).
It is still unknown what is actually being delivered. Hardware to drive Block 3 software doesn't show up until 2016 deliveries... then there is test of a real go-to-war aircraft.
That is the scale of delays vs. the original plan scammed to Congress. Engineering changes for more mistake-jets: unknown. More discovery that mows down gross marketing assumptions like a claymore mine; yet to come.
We have seen more and more delays stack up. It is more complex (and poorly managed) than what Congress and DOD bargained.
Low order improvement...is improvement?
As time marches on, comparing the F-35 to successfully fielded legacy systems, insults successfully fielded legacy systems.