Thanks to Jaigegn for the link!
via Defense Aerospace.
The Pentagon recently announced it anticipates awarding a contract to Lockheed Martin in the first quarter of calendar year 2017 for Joint Strike Fighter Lots 12-14.Then the Editor's note.
The proposed contract actions will provide for 100 F-35A conventional-takeoff-and-landing jets, 26 F-35B short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing aircraft and six F-35C carrier variant jets in Lot 12.
Lot 13 includes 104 F-35As, 26 F-35Bs and 12 F-35Cs.
Lot 14 provides for 88 F-35As, 30 F-35Bs and 18 F-35Cs, according to a June 16 presolicitation notice posted on the Federal Business Opportunities website. (These three Lots add up to a total of 410 aircraft—Ed.)
Given the opposition that the ‘block buy’ has raised in Congress, and to the illegality of any multiyear buy during Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP), it is surprising that this notice has been published at all. It seems to be a provocation that the program can ill afford at this time, especially after having announced a new delay of about one year in the Operational Test & Evaluation phase.This is so obvious its painful.
It also should be noted that, despite the plans outlined above, the program office has still not awarded the main contracts for Lots 9 (now two years overdue, Lot 10 (one year overdue) and Lot 11.)
Remember the "summer of the F-35"? This is all part of that meme. They're trying to build false momentum for the airplane.
Worse though is the idea of the US military attempting to buy almost 500 airplanes (counting the ones already in service) before they're ready. How this isn't the scandal of the century is beyond me.