Sunday, March 04, 2018

Only Half of F-35s Available for Flight, Program Head Says

Of the 280 operational F-35s purchased to date by U.S. and international partners, only 51 percent are currently available for flight, Vice Adm. Mat Winter, director of the F-35 Joint Program Office, told reporters Wednesday at a round-table event.

Winter added that availability rates are lowest for aircraft purchased in early lots, which were beset with a number of hardware and software issues that later production lots addressed. Low-rate initial production lots 2 through 4 have availability rates between 40 and 50 percent, Winter said. The most recent LRIP lots, 9 and 10, which include aircraft that are still rolling off the production line, have the highest availability rates, 70 to 75 percent, he said.

"If you can afford to buy something, but you have to keep it in the parking lot because you can't afford to own and operate it, then it really doesn't do you much good," Winter said.
Story here.

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