U.S. Air Force Gen. Christopher Bogdan will officially be named as head of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Joint Program Office on Dec. 6, Defense News has learned.
Bogdan is currently deputy program manager for the JSF. In August, he was nominated to head the program by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. He takes over for retiring Vice Adm. David Venlet.
The news was confirmed by program office spokesman Joe DellaVedova.
Bogdan moved to the JSF program after running the KC-46 Tanker Modernization Directorate out of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. He is credited with turning around that troubled program, having locked Boeing into a fixed-price contract in 2011. Before that, he served a number of roles in DoD’s acquisition office, most recently as senior military assistant to the undersecretary of defense for acquisition.
In his first public comments after being named deputy program manager, Bogdan turned heads when he called the relationship between the Pentagon and Lockheed “the worst I have ever seen” and described it as “the biggest threat to this program today.”
“It should not take 10, 11 or 12 months to negotiate a contract with someone we’ve been doing business with for 11 years,” he said during September’s Air Force Association convention. “There’s something fundamentally wrong with that. We’ve got to fix it.”
That relationship cleared a major hurdle last week when DoD and Lockheed reached agreement on a fifth block of F-35s. The agreement covers the manufacture of 32 F-35 Lightning II stealth fighters, along with support equipment and instrumentation.