April 13, 2018 / 5:39 PM / 11 days ago

Pentagon hires software guru, will focus on F-35 jet

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Defense is hiring a software expert to help acquire new capabilities while spending 90 percent of his time working on software for the F-35 jet made by Lockheed Martin Corp, a Pentagon official said on Friday.

“Software is the thread that runs through all of our programs,” Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment Ellen Lord told a handful of reporters in her Pentagon office on Friday morning.

The Pentagon pulled Jeff Boleng from the acting Chief Technology Officer post at Carnegie Mellon University’s Software Engineering Institute so that he could help the Pentagon focus on overall policy and software acquisition in the newly created position of special assistant for software acquisition at the Pentagon.

Lord said that while Boleng will focus on the F-35 program, the Department of Defense was attempting to change how it acquires and employs software.

While the sensor-laden F-35 jet program has software needs addressed, the program has other issues.

Earlier this week, Reuters reported that the Pentagon had stopped accepting deliveries of the jet from Lockheed because of a dispute with the contractor over who will cover costs for fixing a production error.

The Pentagon confirmed the pause in acceptances the next day. Lord said the pause remained in effect as of Friday.

Reporting by Mike Stone in Washington, D.C.; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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