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Crucial F-35 combat test could be delayed until late in 2022


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The stealthy F-35 jet may not complete its most critical stage of combat testing until about September 2022, the latest in a series of delays that has set America's most expensive weapons program back by years, Pentagon officials were told last month.

The rigorous testing in the $398 billion program that was once planned for 2017 was most recently scheduled for December. But the Defense Department's F-35 program office has now projected the target date for the monthlong simulator testing as August 2022, according to a briefing chart used in a mid-March review.

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