Saturday, June 08, 2019

F-35 News. Lawmakers threaten to restrict funding for the Pentagon if it doesn't find a way to fix the chronic shortage of F-35 parts

via Business Insider.
Congress is threatening to restrict funding for the Pentagon's acquisition office unless it comes up with a new plan to address the chronic shortage of spare parts for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

The new provisions were included by the House Armed Services Committee's subcommittee on readiness in its recent markup of the 2020 defense budget.

Under the provisions, the Department of Defense must develop a "detailed plan for the planning, programming, budgeting, and execution of funding" for weapons systems such as the F-35, according to a statement released Wednesday by Rep. John Garamendi, D-Calif., chairman of the subcommittee.

Only 26.8% of F-35s were fully capable of accomplishing their missions between May and November 2018, according to the Government Accountability Office. The minimum target for these types of weapons is usually 60%, and a lack of spare parts is a major reason why the aircraft hasn't been able to meet it.
Story here. 

Isn't this lovely?  I love the absolute irony of this situation!

Congress has followed the Pentagon's lead and pushed for more F-35's before they're ready.

Now Congress is barking about the parts situation but if the Program Office sorts out that sticky widget then production of the F-35 will slow.  Add in the mess with Turkey and you're looking at a no win situation for the office (from their perspective).

Production will not meet plan because of having to replace Turkish production AND meet Congressional mandates.

Which means prices will rise.

Of course the good news is that (if what they're claiming is true which I doubt) readiness rates will improve but the sword still hangs over their heads.

Can't wait to see how this turns out.

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