Top F-35 program officer visits Joint Strike Fighter Integrated Test Force


Lieutenant General Christopher Bogdan visited the Joint Strike Fighter Integrated Test Force on August 26 to receive a 461st Flight Test Squadron test progress update and discuss future test events at Edwards Air Force Base, California, USA. He also held an all hands meeting with the ITF to provide a holistic F-35 program status and congratulate the work force on the US Marine Corps’ Initial Operational Capability completion of the F-35B short takeoff and landing variant. The Marine Corps announced their IOC achievement July 31. A celebration was held with cake after the all hands brief.

Bogdan is the program executive officer for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Program Office in Arlington, Virginia. The F-35 Lightning II Joint Program Office is the Department of Defense’s agency responsible for developing and acquiring the F-35A/B/C, the next-generation strike aircraft weapon system for the Navy, Air Force, Marines, and many allied nations.

The visit came shortly after two weeks of joint testing of the Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jet at a California air base by the Royal Netherlands Air Force, which proved that the new stealthy jets are able to share a significant amount of data with older warplanes, according to a report from Reuters.

In the Reuters report, Colonel Albert De Smit, commander of the Netherlands operational test detachment, said the testing sought to validate that the new fifth-generation F-35s could share useable data with older F-16s and aerial refueling aircraft via the Link 16 system. He said the results showed that during combat, the F-35 could help relay key targeting, surveillance and other data to less capable F-16s and other planes, in much the same way that the US Air Force’s F-22 fighter jets work with older aircraft.

September 3, 2015

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