Pentagon Officials confirmed Deputy Defense Secretary Bill Lynn's announcement of this week that the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program will be delayed by about one year.
The Pentagon's No. 2 Official said that the jet's development schedule would slip between 12 -13 months despite an aggressive restructuring of the program that was announced earlier this month.
The delay is due to the integration of additional test aircraft that were mandated under the restructuring, which also extended system development and design (SDD) until 2015, according to a Pentagon Official.
The Official would not comment on how this will affect the delivery schedule for the plane. The U.S. Marine Corps is set to get its first F-35s in 2012, with the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Navy scheduled to receive their jets in 2013 and 2014, respectively.
Under the Pentagon's restructuring that was announced Feb. 1, Defense Secretary Robert Gates ordered an additional test jet and $2.8 billion be put into the extended F-35 SDD, withheld more than $600 million in performance fees from Lockheed, cut planes from F-35 acquisition coffers and fired Marine Corps Maj. Gen. David Heinz, the Pentagon's F-35 program manager.
The Defense Department is requesting $10.7 billion in its 2011 budget to continue development on the F-35 and purchase 43 of the planes.