Only 55% of US F-35s Ready to Fly Written 25 September 2023


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

FlightGlobal reports that an analysis from auditors at the GAO found only 55% of the US military’s fleet of F-35 fighter jets were able to carry out assigned missions during the period in which the auditors conducted their examination. The report was released by the GAO on Thursday and examined the approximately 450 F-35s operated by the military in March 2023. Auditors “said the 55% readiness rate from that the time is ‘far below programme goals,’ citing an array of maintenance issues with the type.” These maintenance issues “include a lack of spare parts, inadequate maintenance training for military personnel and a heavy reliance on contractors for depot-level maintenance – where the most involved or complex repairs take place.” The report states, “The Department of Defense (DOD) relies heavily on its contractors to lead and manage F-35 sustainment. However, as DOD seeks expanded government control, it has neither determined the desired mix of government and contractor roles, nor identified and obtained the technical data needed to support its desired mix.”
Full Story (FlightGlobal)