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Lockheed sees serious F-35 sustainment problems

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posted on Oct, 27 2017 @ 04:46 PM
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Now that the F-35 is operational, Lockheed is finding a major issue with sustainment of the aircraft. Between January and August, they found that 22% of missions couldn't be flown due to spare parts availability. Despite the aircraft only going operational a couple years ago, the Depot is already six years behind, and parts repair at the Depot is taking close to six months to complete.

The JPO and Lockheed are arguing over IP rights that could cause problems later. The GAO recommended in 2014 that they identify IP needs and a strategy, but they've barely made steps toward that recommendation.

www.flightglobal.com...
edit on 10/27/2017 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)




posted on Oct, 27 2017 @ 04:59 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

All the high end toys aren't worth a damn without logistics...



posted on Oct, 27 2017 @ 05:28 PM
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If they would just declassify all of their star wars stuff, then we could stop wasting money on old tech used to fool the public that there is nothing better.



posted on Oct, 27 2017 @ 06:34 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58


What a mess.



posted on Oct, 27 2017 @ 07:26 PM
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I remember being deployed to PSAB with the 15s. Went 3 times.

Anyways, we always ran out of parts and left slightly early.



posted on Oct, 27 2017 @ 07:43 PM
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You would think having available spare parts would be part of the contract. What kind of nuts does our government have working for them. They should not award contracts unless the company can guarantee spare parts when needed, quickly with no backlog. This is our Airforce, this is an American company, they should take care of our orders with priority. They are taking orders all over, their first priority should be their biggest customer, us.



posted on Oct, 27 2017 @ 08:17 PM
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a reply to: rickymouse

It is part of the contract. The problem is either using them faster than the supply chain can resupply them, or backlog at the supplier. The two hardest points on a supply chain are when they're building it, and at the end of the article's life.

But, that being said, it's incredible that the Depot is already six years behind on rebuilds and repairs. There's no excuse for that imaginable.



posted on Oct, 27 2017 @ 08:21 PM
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I am assuming that partner nation depots are the same as the US depots, and that these are proceeding on schedule?



posted on Oct, 27 2017 @ 08:34 PM
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a reply to: C0bzz

They're still standing up the outside Depot facilities. So they have time to build their supply piles.



posted on Oct, 27 2017 @ 08:49 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

How do you sell an jet that can't fly 20% of the time?

If I remember correctly the per unit cost was supposed to drop the more that are sold.



posted on Oct, 27 2017 @ 09:03 PM
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a reply to: seasonal

You realize that most aircraft have a less than 80% mission capable rate, right? Even when they're brand new they don't have anywhere near a 100% mission capable rate. It's considered really good if they get over 72%. In 2016, the fleet wide mission capable rate, for all 5,447 aircraft in the Air Force stood at around 72%. The F-22, the newest aircraft in the fleet, dropped to around 60% in 2016. The B-1 climbed to just under 52%, while the B-2 dropped to 51%. The only aircraft in the Air Force inventory that hit 100%, was the C-21, which is based on the Lear 35. There are 55 of them in the Air Force inventory.




posted on Oct, 27 2017 @ 09:28 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

So why the story if this is expected? Or is the reason a surprise?

If part are not available, good luck selling this to our allies.



posted on Oct, 27 2017 @ 09:39 PM
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a reply to: seasonal

Because at this point, to be six years behind on repairs is ridiculous. As is the fact that they can't keep parts in the supply chain. The fact that they're below 100% on the mission capable rate isn't the story, the fact that the Navy and Marines are deploying on ships soon without the required parts in their supply chain is.



posted on Oct, 27 2017 @ 11:04 PM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: rickymouse

It is part of the contract. The problem is either using them faster than the supply chain can resupply them, or backlog at the supplier. The two hardest points on a supply chain are when they're building it, and at the end of the article's life.

But, that being said, it's incredible that the Depot is already six years behind on rebuilds and repairs. There's no excuse for that imaginable.


If they weren't building F35s for other countries, they would have plenty of ability to make our parts. Six years behind, seems like we should be looking for a different company to build our fighters. The F35 has had it's share of problems anyway, maybe that company should be seized and liquidated and the money used to replace our F35 with a different aircraft.



posted on Oct, 28 2017 @ 01:00 AM
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I wonder what mission capable rates for the F-35 will look like in the 2020s. I've heard a lot of great things about maintaining the F-35. I've already heard a lot of terrible things. Definitely a mixed bag.

a reply to: rickymouse


If they weren't building F35s for other countries, they would have plenty of ability to make our parts.

This isn't true, and it's insulting to partner nations actually.

- The vast majority of aircraft produced so far have been for the United States.
- The JSF program is an international program and foreign partners have invested significantly into the development of the aircraft. While they have been shielded somewhat from the cost increases, they also keep the build-rate high especially early in full rate production which lowers the procurement cost for the US. (i.e. over the next 5-10 years).
- Usually these partner nations are geopolitically aligned with the United States (i.e. Israel, numerous NATO countries, Australia, Japan).
- Often they also are industrial partners in the program, which means they are actually producing the parts for the F-35 (often for components that can be sourced from multiple companies) rather than simply consuming them.

Nowhere in the FlightGlobal article is it mentioned foreign customers taking parts away from the United States, instead it places the blame on bureaucratic processes and intellectual property rights.

I'm sure potential adversaries of the United States would love for the public to blame international partners and international collaboration for the F-35s problems.
edit on 28/10/17 by C0bzz because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 28 2017 @ 01:36 AM
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Zaphod58 hates me when I say this but this aircraft and the program has been one f*** up after another since its' inception.

The next big story will be the airforce or whoever can not afford to maintain or purchase the amount of aircraft initially deemed necessary. Kinda like the F-22.. wonder how many out of the 187 F22s are actually flyable on any given day ? Never mind I really do not care any more.. Their problem their program.. Just my tax dollars and everyone else's.

Let us hope if we ever go against a real enemy with a well trained and supplied airforce that the kill ratio for the F-22 is better than anything that has ever flown before.. IMO



posted on Oct, 28 2017 @ 08:17 AM
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a reply to: 727Sky

It HAS been a screwed up program. What I hate is the people that believe every bad thing about it and refuse to believe that they've improved things pretty significantly since it started. It's still not straightened out nearly as much as it needs to be, as this shows, but it's nowhere near as bad as it was in the early years.



posted on Oct, 28 2017 @ 09:34 AM
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a reply to: 727Sky

The US needs to get the check book out.

I can't tell if this program or the new aircraft carriers are more of a goat screw, but more money will have to be extorted from the US to get this already bloated program to work.



posted on Oct, 28 2017 @ 11:08 AM
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a reply to: seasonal

The F-35 is working nicely now. It still has problems that need to be solved, but they're well on the way to solving them. Part of the problem with the supply chain is that Lockheed hasn't transitioned to sustainment because they didn't ramp up production yet. The original plan was to increase production two years ago, which would have them in sustainment ramp up now.



posted on Oct, 28 2017 @ 01:23 PM
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a reply to: rickymouse

Look into the recent 1 on 1 testing where the F-35 basically went undefeated against numerous fighters.



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