DoD report: Value of F-35 student training is limited (DOCUMENT)

Published: Monday, March 18, 2013 at 12:35 PM.

Eglin should receive a second Block 2 jet shortly after and have a total of 24 by the end of the year, Toth said.

Eventually, the Block 1 aircraft also will be upgraded, although that was not initially in the plan.

Toth said Lockheed Martin has realized those planes also must be upgraded to be functional for the services.

Hawn said the malfunctions with the helmet-mounted display and the radar are being addressed, and were not designed to be fully functional with the early-version aircraft at Eglin now.

The DoD report states the training at Eglin was sufficient for the limited number of students that went through last fall, but with the new aircraft will come a new course syllabus and additional training requirements.

The Air Force had to provide substantial resources and work-arounds to meet the requirements of the limited syllabus in the fall, and it likely will have trouble keeping pace with a more advanced syllabus and an increased student load, the report states.

The Air Force provided additional F-16 jets to fly as chasers behind the F-35s in the cases when enough F-35s weren’t cleared for flight. Those jets won’t be available after this month.



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