New TR-3 delivery date for F-35 still high risk, Air Force senior official says

By Shelley K. Mesch / September 15, 2023 at 11:06 AM

NATIONAL HARBOR, MD -- The updated delivery date of Technology Refresh 3-equipped F-35 Joint Strike Fighters is "not low-risk," Air Combat Command Commander Gen. Mark Kelly told reporters this week.

TR-3 is already late, and contractor Lockheed Martin said last week that it would not meet its previously held goal of deliveries by December. Instead, Lockheed is anticipating deliveries to begin between April and June of next year.

The updated time frame is doable but not necessarily probable when considering the “number of actions that have to take place in terms of TR-3 burndown that they need to execute between now and then,” Kelly told reporters at the Air and Space Forces Association's Air, Space, Cyber conference.

The Defense Department is not accepting new F-35s until they are equipped with the TR-3 hardware and software upgrades.