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Introduction

Pre-JAST

JAST

JSF

F-35 Acquisition

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Title: History
What is known today as the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program was originally known as the Joint Advanced Strike Technology (JAST) Program. The goal of the JAST program was not to have developed a new aircraft, but instead it was to mature the technologies that a new series of tactical aircraft could use.

JAST was chartered to mature technologies, develop requirements, and demonstrate concepts for affordable next-generation joint strike warfare. As JAST plans took shape, it became apparent that JAST would be funding one or more concept demonstrator aircraft starting in 1996–about the time the ASTOVL program planned to enter its Phase III (full-scale flight demonstrators). The ASTOVL project, as an advanced concept for a future joint-service strike/fighter, appeared consistent with the JAST charter. It was therefore agreed by the management of both programs, that JAST would become the U.S. service “sponsor” for the flight demonstration phase of ASTOVL, if Phase II were successful and if the concept appeared to be able to satisfy the requirements of at least two of the three U.S. services participating in JAST. However, FY95 budget legislation passed in October 1994 by the U.S. Congress directed that ASTOVL be merged into JAST immediately.

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