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Thursday, September 10, 2015

Pentagon official says accelerated F-35 fighter production could stress suppliers

F-35C Lightning IIThe program to develop the F-35 stealth supersonic fighter jet is accelerating fast, but the steep ramp-up in production could stress suppliers and the jet's automated logistics system still faces problems, the Pentagon's F-35 manager said on Wednesday.

The F-35, manufactured by Lockheed Martin Corp, is the Pentagon's biggest weapons program: it expects to pay $391 billion to develop the fighters and buy 2,457 jets in coming decades. The program first kicked off in 2001.

Air Force Lieutenant General Christopher Bogdan told a defense conference in Washington the program is "rapidly accelerating and growing," with production rising from about 40 planes a year now to more than 120 a year over the next three years.

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