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​F-35 programme officer executive retires

Lt Gen Chris Bogdan will step down from his post as F-35 programme executive officer this spring and a US Navy admiral has been appointed to take his place.

On 28 March, the Pentagon announced President Donald Trump’s nomination of Rear Adm Mathias Winter for JSF programme director. Winter currently serves as deputy programme executive officer for the Lightning II and until last fall served as chief of naval research.

Air Force Gen Bogdan is handing off the programme to Winter just before the F-35C is expected to reach initial operational capability with the navy in 2019. The F-35B reached IOC in 2015 and the Air Force’s F-35A achieved IOC in August 2016, though without full Block 3F capabilities. Winter is also entering the office as the Pentagon considers Boeing’s F/A-18 as a carrier aircraft alternative to the F-35C, which accounts for the smallest share of Lockheed’s programme of record.

Bogdan arrived at the Joint Programme Office in 2012, making him the longest serving general in the post. Bogdan had vowed to stay with the F-35 until he turned the programme around. Though unit costs decreased under his tenure, the aircraft is still experiencing communication gaps and lacks full moving target capability.

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