Saturday, February 02, 2019

F-35 Woes...Reliability Concerns, Poor Gun on the A model & The Brits are in procurement hell...

Wow.  When it rains it pours.  A little spin thru the blogosphere revealed this article from Breaking Defense that covers reliability and gun concerns...

I asked Lt. Gen. Arnold Bunch, the top uniformed official for Air Force acquisition, how concerned the Air Force is that Lockheed Martin has not been able to improve fleet availability above 60 percent for three years. The Director of Operational Test and evaluation issued his annual report yesterday and that fact was the grimmest in the review of the F-35.

“There was no improving trend in fleet aircraft availability….Fleet-wide average availability is below program target value of 60 percent and well below planned 80 percent needed for efficient conduct of IOT&E,” the report says. “The trend in fleet availability has been flat over the past 3 years; the program’s reliability improvement initiatives are still not translating into improved availability.”
More broadly, Robert Behler’s report says that the “reliability and maintainability metrics defined in the JSF Operational Requirements Document are not meeting interim goals needed to reach requirements at maturity.”

Story here. 

Speaking plainly, not in General-ese?  This bird is hard to keep in the air and its gonna cost a metric shit load of money to operate.

Thing are worse for the Brits though.  They're in procurement hell and now we get a bit of clarity about the raging debate they had last month about the RAF crowing for F-35A's instead of more F-35B's.  via Telegraph.
Britain may not be be able to expand its F-35 fighter jet fleet unless a black hole in the Ministry of Defence budget is plugged, MPs have warned.

A scathing report by the Public Accounts Committee has exposed how the MoD is staring at a £7 billion funding gap, which could double over the next 10 years.

Under scrutiny is the F-35 fighter jet program, which is supposed to deliver some 138 F-35 Lightning aircraft over the coming decades.

Britain has already signed a contract for the first batch of 48, which are estimated to cost £9.1bn by 2025, including support such as training and maintenance.

But the committee say that there remains uncertainty on the plans for F-35 beyond the procurement of the first 48 jets, with clarity on future support and maintenance costs dependent on the results of current trials.
Story here. 

Two stories from different countries on the F-35 and it all boils down to the same issue.

This thing is gonna cost alot to maintain much less buy and FINALLY policy makers are starting to look at the numbers instead of simply listening to the promises.

The F-35 saga is far from over...

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