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Vice Adm. David Venlet: Testing Key in Next Lockheed F-35 Contract

The Defense Department will place increased emphasis on testing before awarding Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE: LMT) a planned contract for six F-35 jets, Bloomberg reports.

Tests will evaluate progress on software development and assembly, among other items. For specifics, check out more coverage on TheNewNewInternet.

The Bethesda, Md.-based contractor has agreed to the plan, Navy Vice Adm. David Venlet said in written remarks to the Senate Armed Services subcommittee on airpower.

The agreement covers 31 jets for fiscal year 2012 and 29 proposed aircraft for fiscal 2013.

Venlet told the subpanel the Pentagon is aiming to reign in costs, adding that development is requiring more time and funding to address technical issues.

Life cycle costs that include development, 2, 443 jets and 55 years of support have increased from $1.38 trillion in 2010 to $1.51 trillion, defense officials said March 30.

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