The latest flak to hit the F-35 program is a provision in the $579 million House defense appropriations bill that would limit the number of planes to be built next year to 36 unless the Pentagon certifies the problem-plagued logistics system is glitch-free. The system, manufactured by the plane's maker, Lockheed Martin, coordinates maintenance, parts supply, operational support and other functions for the F-35.There are more twists and turns with this airplane that its truly turned into a soap opera.
The Pentagon had requested 57 planes and the House Armed Services Committee authorized funding for 65.
The defense spending bill, approved by a voice vote Tuesday in the House Appropriations Committee, says, “The committee is concerned that despite action taken by the Department of Defense to improve the management of the Autonomic Logistics Information System, the system is not proceeding at a pace that will ensure capability to support demands for data and information for rapid aircraft turnaround and efficient maintenance operations.”
Worse, I sense that we're being hit with an information warfare campaign that would make Special Forces PSYOPS units blush with envy.
My belief? They're gonna pencil whip the F-35 into service this summer. But they're gonna fail at certifying ALIS as being ready and then the Congressional Testimony about how great the F-35 is will really ramp up.
They will have no other choice.