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WASHINGTON— Leadership of the F-35 program office is expected to change hands this year, with the current deputy director taking the reins of the program.
Navy Rear. Adm. Mat Winter, currently the F-35 deputy program executive officer, will be named head of the program when Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan retires this summer, the Pentagon announced. Winter will also be promoted to vice admiral.
Winter joined the F-35 office in 2016. Before that he served as the chief of Naval Research.
The F-35 will not be Winter's first experience managing a controversial, high-profile program of record. As the Navy's program executive officer for Unmanned Aviation and Strike Weapons, he oversaw the development of the X-47, a stealthy unmanned aircraft that could autonomously launch from a carrier. He also was responsible for the Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike program, which was cancelled after myriad problems including schedule slippage and changing requirements. UCLASS has now translated into a Navy program of record for an unmanned, carrier-launched tanker.