The F-35 is facing yet another major problem as the Pentagon considers ramping up production

Military Tech

WATCH: The USS America rocks 12 F-35s for a 'Lightning Carrier' proof of concept

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon's decision to move into a full-rate production contract for the F-35 jet, made by Lockheed Martin, could be delayed until 2021 because of issues integrating the jet with its testing and training simulators, an official said on Friday.


Full-rate production contracts are more lucrative for defense companies than low rate production contracts, suggesting larger payments for F-35 deliveries to Lockheed from the U.S. government and its allies could be delayed by as much as a year.

Pentagon acquisition chief Ellen Lord told reporters she had signed off on a report that indicated the final decision on full-rate production could be delayed up to 13 months.

A decision on full-rate production had been expected this December.

"We are not making as quick progress on the joint simulation environment, integrating the F-35 into it," Lord said.

The Joint Simulation Environment is a government-owned modeling and simulation facility that can be used for testing aircraft and flight systems as a supplement to open-air testing.

A Lockheed Martin representative said the company was "confident the full F-35 enterprise is prepared for full-rate production and ready to meet growing customer demand."

Lockheed Martin's goal was to deliver 131 aircraft in 2019 with production growing "to over 140 production aircraft deliveries" in 2020, the representative said.

It didn't take long for a central theme to emerge at the funeral of U.S. Marine Pfc. Joseph Livermore, an event attended by hundreds of area residents Friday at Union Cemetery in Bakersfield.

It's a theme that stems from a widespread local belief that the men and women who have served in the nation's armed forces are held in particularly high esteem here in the southern valley.

"In Bakersfield and Kern County, we celebrate our veterans like no place else on Earth," Bakersfield Chief of Police Lyle Martin told the gathering of mourners.

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An Air Force Special Tactics combat controller that "delivered thousands of pounds of munition" during a close-range 2007 firefight in Afghanistan was awarded the Silver Star on Friday.

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ROCKFORD — Delta Force sniper Sgt. First Class James P. McMahon's face was so badly battered and cut, "he looked like he was wearing a fright mask" as he stood atop a downed Black Hawk helicopter and pulled free the body of a fellow soldier from the wreckage.

That's the first description of McMahon in the book by journalist Mark Bowden called "Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War." It is a detailed account of the horrific Battle of the Black Sea fought in the streets of Mogadishu, Somalia, in October 1993. It claimed the lives of 18 elite American soldiers.

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The July arrests of 16 Camp Pendleton Marines in front of their 800-person battalion was unlawful and a violation of their rights, a Marine Corps judge ruled Friday.

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Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher will retire as a chief petty officer now that President Donald Trump has restored his rank.

"Before the prosecution of Special Warfare Operator First Class Edward Gallagher, he had been selected for promotion to Senior Chief, awarded a Bronze Star with a "V" for valor, and assigned to an important position in the Navy as an instructor," a White House statement said.

"Though ultimately acquitted on all of the most serious charges, he was stripped of these honors as he awaited his trial and its outcome. Given his service to our Nation, a promotion back to the rank and pay grade of Chief Petty Officer is justified."

The announcement that Gallagher is once again an E-7 effectively nullifies the Navy's entire effort to prosecute Gallagher for allegedly committing war crimes. It is also the culmination of Trump's support for the SEAL throughout the legal process.

On July 2, military jurors found Gallagher not guilty of premeditated murder and attempted murder for allegedly stabbing a wounded ISIS fighter to death and opening fire at an old man and a young girl on separate occasions during his 2017 deployment to Iraq.

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