Lockheed Martin are using this week's Farnborough International Air
Show to send a clear message: there are NO problems with the F-35
Joint Strike Fighter, newly designated the "Lightning II" by the US
Despite warnings from the Government Accountability Office that
have eroded support for the plane... and put its future funding in
jeopardy... Lockheed says development of the fighter is proceeding
right on schedule.
Furthermore, executives at Lockheed Martin emphatically told
attendees at the large show that the F-35 will NOT run into any
significant problems, even though production is set to begin even
while prototypes continue to undergo flight testing.
Lockheed Martin executives say the criticism is coming from
those in the government who don't know as much about the finer
points of the program as those inside the company -- and while they
acknowledged that issues are still likely to crop up, Lockheed
Martin says they are unlikely to pose major problems.
As Lockheed's F-35 program chief Dan Crowley puts it... "people
give it (the GAO) more credence than it probably deserves."
Those are harsh words coming from a government contractor... but
still tamer than some of the accusations levied against the
Now, the only question is... which side are customers most
likely to believe?