Lockheed Martin officials indicated Dec. 3, 2009, at an aerospace conference in New York that the company may put some future award fees toward additional test aircraft to help resolve F-35 program cost and schedule problems. Pentagon officials have said they want the company to share the burden. Here, the first test version of the short takeoff/vertical landing F-35 arrives at NAS Patuxent River, Md., Nov. 15, 2009, ostensibly to begin testing. However, the aircraft remained grounded into early December, awaiting replacements for some faulty parts. The Marine Corps, which will operate the F-35B STOVL variant, expects to have its first operational squadron in 2012.
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