September 17, 2012 / 5:38 PM / 5 years ago

Pentagon has "reasonable confidence" in Lockheed F-35 fighter

WASHINGTON, Sept 17 (Reuters) - The Pentagon's deputy director of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter said the new fighter jet being developed by Lockheed Martin Corp was making good - but not great - progress and he had "reasonable confidence" in the program.

Major General Christopher Bogdan said the program still had a significant amount of flight testing to do, having completed only about one-third of the required flight testing.

He also cited continuing issues with the plane's complex helmet, overall software development for the new fighter, and a critical automated logistics system, but said the Pentagon was working closely with Lockheed to address those areas. The helmet displays all the information the pilot needs to fly the plane.

Bogdan said the company was making progress in producing the plane and costs were coming down, but the pace of improvement needed to pick up.

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