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The GAO also hints about "emerging concerns about ... stealth-related issues" - which to those of us who have been through the history of LO, sounds a bit ominous.
Defense Contract Management Agency officials noted difficulties in manufacturing outer mold lines, resulting from tight tolerance specifications and multiple manufacturing methodologies among the different JSF parts suppliers. The manufacturing processes are new and different from legacy practices. Inability to meet the outer mold line requirements could have major impacts on cost as well as stealth requirements and capabilities.This problem is not expected to be resolved until the June 2015 time frame after which a large number of aircraft will have been built and would need to be retrofitted for any design changes. Program officials stated some redesign activities have begun and will take into the 2013 timeframe to begin developing the changes, their costs, and implementation. The effects of these changes could extend out into 2015, but will be prioritized to reduce performance and cost impacts.
ar99, tacair, jsf, gao
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