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Lockheed Martin awarded contract for F-35 simulation software

The $50.8 million contract is for testing of the fighter's highly complex software and hardware systems.

By Stephen Carlson
Lockheed Martin awarded contract for F-35 simulation software
Lockheed Martin has been awarded a contract for development of a simulation system for the F-35. Problems with the system have further slowed development of the fifth-generation fighter, analysts say. U.S. Air Force photo

July 6 (UPI) -- Lockheed Martin has received a $50.8 million modification to a previously awarded contract for the F-35 Lighning II verification simulation systems.

The contract calls for software model development, integration and support for the VSim. The project will be carried out in Fort Worth, Texas, Naval Air Station Patuxent, Md., and Edwards Air Force Base in California.

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Work is expected to be completed by April 2018. Fiscal 2017 research, development, test and evaluation funds from the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps in the amount of $21.6 million will be obligated at the time of the contract.

The VSim is designed to test the funtionality of the F-35s hihgly complex software and hardware systems under a range of operational and combat conditions. The simulator is vital to complete initial operational testing but has faced repeated delays.

The F-35 features the most complex sensors and electronic warfare systems ever put on a fighter jet, but the program has been plagued with design flaws, delays and cost overruns. Integration between its software and hardware, such as diagnostic systems and sensors has been problematic over the life of the program.

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