Thursday, June 20, 2019

F-35 News. Jacked up supply chain...over 50% of the parts sent to bases are unusable...

via Bloomberg.
The lack of compliant parts is widespread. Of 74 spare parts delivered to Hill Air Force Base in Utah from Sept. 17 through Sept. 30 of last year, 59 of them, or 80%, weren’t ready to install. Of 263 parts delivered to Luke Air Force Base in Arizona in June of last year, 213, or 81%, didn’t meet requirements.

“Despite the Joint Program Office being aware of this problem, it did not resolve the issue or require the services to track the number” of non-compliant spare parts received, the report found.

A representative for Bethesda, Maryland-based Lockheed didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The inspector general recommended that the Pentagon program office seek refunds or additional services free of charge from Lockheed to compensate the military for the chronic parts problems.
This is the hill on which the battle of the F-35 will be fought!  But I'll get into that later.  Check out this section from the same article...
 The lack of information “creates a life and safety concern for aircrews” if Pentagon personnel “make mistakes on the number of hours the spare part was flown.” it said.

Investigators found instances at two F‑35 sites where pilots had flown aircraft with non‑compliant spare parts, such as wheel, seat and window assemblies, as early as August 2017. That “unintentionally inflated aircraft availability hours,” which is one measure for incentive fees to Lockheed.

In writing policy and funding legislation, three of the four congressional defense committees have added F-35 jets beyond the 78 the Pentagon requested for fiscal 2020. Such increases have only exacerbated pressure on the supply chain and added to the F-35’s chronic failure to meet goals on its availability for missions.
But wait there's more!
 Lockheed Martin Corp. has failed to supply ready-to-install spare parts for its F-35 fighter -- from wheels and tire assemblies to seats -- and may have been overpaid as much as $10.6 million in bonuses, according to the Defense Department’s inspector general.

“We determined that the DoD did not receive ready-to-issue F‑35 spare parts in accordance with contract requirements and paid performance incentive fees on the sustainment contracts based on inflated and unverified” hours that Air Force and Marine Corps planes would be ready to fly, the Pentagon’s internal watchdog said in a report released Monday.

It happened because the Pentagon’s F-35 program office “did not conduct adequate oversight of contractor performance,” according to the report. It found the office hasn’t resolved “contractor non‑performance related to the delivery of non‑ready-to-issue spare parts since 2015.”
Story here. 

I'll make the call.

The Joint Strike Fighter Program should have been declared in breach of McMurdy-Nunn.

I'll now make an accusation.

Military leadership knows better.  They've so lusted after this plane that they've essentially aided and abetted a corporation in defrauding the American public.

Because they've been so desperate to get this vehicle into service they paid bonuses to LM that allowed them to ARTIFICIALLY INFLATE their performance and increase their stock price.

But it gets worse.

They risked pilots lives so that they could keep up the fiction of the F-35 being on a proper trajectory so that the program would escape Congressional scrutiny.

So what do we have?

We have an incestous, vile, and criminal procurement program that has been protected from necessary scrutiny by the public.

Who is involved in this travesty?

Every person that has sat in the seat of Chairman of the various services, the US Congress, a couple of President's of the United States and Lockheed Martin.

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