RAF FAIRFORD, England (Reuters) - Efforts to declare an initial squadron of Lockheed Martin Corp fighter jets ready for combat are going "exceptionally well," and a decision should be announced soon, the four-star general who will make the decision said on Thursday.
General Hawk Carlisle, commander of U.S. Air Force Combat Command, said he hoped to certify an "initial operational capability" of F-35 jets at the early end of an August to December timeframe set by the Air Force several years ago.
He said delays in completion of the latest software for the F-35's computerized logistic system were "not a limiting factor" in his decision, since the current software worked during a recent test deployment from one Air Force base to another. The new software package is now expected to be completed in October or November, instead of August as expected.
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(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Mark Potter)