Army testing lab selected to analyze software for Joint Strike Fighter

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The Army will help provide independent software analysis of the Pentagon's next-generation stealth jet known as the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

The Army's Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center, or AMRDEC, was selected by the F-35 Joint Program Office to evaluate safety-critical software in the aircraft's operational flight program software, an Army press release announced Aug. 12.

The integrated system is comprised of many components, including propulsion, weapons and autonomic logistics systems, the release said.

"The F-35 has over 24 million lines of code and is clearly the most complex weapons system ever designed by the [Defense Department]," AMRDEC Acting Director James Lackey said in the release.

AMRDEC's Software Engineering Directorate, which will perform the software analyses, has provided similar work for other aviation systems such as the AH-64 Apache, and various weapons systems like the Hellfire missile.

This is the Army's first involvement in the Joint Strike Fighter program.

Lockheed Martin is leading a team to develop the F-35 Lightning II, which is a single-engine, single-seat fighter jet for the U.S. military and eight international partners.

It is being manufactured in three versions: a conventional-takeoff-and-landing on for the Air Force, an aircraft-carrier version for the Navy, and a short-takeoff/vertical landing version for the Marine Corps and the U.K. Royal Air Force and Royal Navy.

In a report (pdf) published in March, the Government Accountability Office said the total U.S. planned investment in the program is nearing $400 billion to develop and purchase about 2,500 aircraft through 2037, "plus hundreds of billions of dollars in long-term spending to operate and maintain the aircraft."

For more:
- read the Army's press release on the AMRDEC selection
- download the GAO report (.pdf)

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