Friday, June 30, 2017

F-35 Unreliability Risks Strain on Pentagon Budget, Tester Says

via Defense Aerospace.
Costs to operate and support Lockheed Martin Corp.’s F-35 will balloon unless the deteriorating reliability of the Pentagon’s costliest program improves, according to an assessment from the Defense Department’s own testing office.

The aircraft and its parts aren’t as reliable as expected, and it’s taking longer to repair them than planned, according to the presentation by the director of operational testing for defense officials and congressional aides. About 20 percent of the jets must await spares in depots because suppliers can’t keep up with expanding production while fixing returned parts. (…/…)

The availability of spare parts for the 203 F-35s already assigned to bases “is getting worse, affecting fly rates” and pilot training, according to the presentation dated May 8 and obtained by Bloomberg News. Reliability metrics linked to “critical failures have worsened over the last year,” as improvement “has stagnated.” (…/…)

The testing office said in its latest assessment that the trend in aircraft availability for flight test or training missions “has been flat over the past two years” because initiatives to improve reliability “are still not translating into improved availability.” Just last week the Marine Corps temporarily grounded operational jets in Yuma, Arizona, over reliability concerns with the program’s key maintenance diagnostic system.

The fleetwide availability of F-35s to fly when needed is 52 percent, short of an interim goal of 60 percent as well as the 80 percent needed to start combat testing next year. (…/…) 
Story here. 

This is my biggest fear.  And it looks like its gonna be realized.  Despite any sort of commonsense.  Acting contrary to the way that they would run their own household, the Pentagon insists on spending good money after bad.

The old adage of "let's get it and we'll fix it after we have it" is going to doom Marine Corps aviation.

This is the boogeyman.

If this comes to pass then there is no exit off the procurement trainwreck for the Corps.  Marine Air will be hopelessly crippled and efforts to fix it will leave the Ground Combat Component operating equipment that isn't old by US standards but obsolete by the standards of the world.

The F-35 is truly becoming the plane that gobbled the Pentagon!

No comments :

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.