General Says F-35 Supply Chain Too Risky for Future War Written 4 April 2023


F-35 Lighting II. | Credit: Lawrence Crespo, USAF; Wikipedia; Public Domain

Defense News reports that the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter “will need a more resilient supply chain to ensure the military can keep it flying in a future, highly contested war, the Air Force officer in charge of the program said Monday.” Lt. Gen. Michael Schmidt, the program executive officer, said during a panel discussion at the Navy League’s Sea Air Space conference being held this week in National Harbor, Maryland, that the F-35 program was created with a “just in time” supply chain, which means that parts are designed to arrive when needed, with little stockpile of inventory. Schmidt said that sort of thinking works in the private sector, but in a future war, it could lead to a catastrophe. He added, “When you have that [just-in-time] mentality, a hiccup in the supply chain, whether it be a strike … or a quality issue, becomes your single point of failure. We need to look at, what does ‘right’ look like in the future, to give us more resilience in a combat environment.”
Full Story (Defense News)