Joint Strike Fighter – Commodities and #FlightOps

F-35C Lightning II

With the deliberate abstraction of hardware from software in the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) , the US and development partners are creating the potential for realizing the customization and training powers of commoditization we’ve seen in the datacenter server world.

[T]he biggest difference between versions [of the F–35 Joint Strike Fighter] used by our domestic armed forces and those sold overseas would be their software load. – @jstogdill That thing looks like hardware, but it’s software now

With pilots now driving software and training to software, any non-fundamental can be changed to the airplane with only minimal training impact. Lower the cost (time, effort, and money) of training, and pilots can incorporate more changes faster. #FlightOps. Given the single producer (Lockheed Martin with many partners), don’t expect one in every pot, but it does create potential for great aftermarket customization.

The JSF development is widely complex project, even within a history of complex Department of Defense projects. Only time will tell its success, but should it do so, the benefits will be well beyond a great jet.

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