The U.S. Army cannot account for the $85 million worth of spare parts for the F-35, but it has also been revealed: only about 30 percent of the U.S. F-35 fleet is in “fully deployable” condition on a given day.
The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) failed to account for about 1 million spare parts for its F-35 Lightning II fighter jet, a Government Accountability Office (GAO) review found.
The Pentagon cannot account for these parts
The lost parts, which include items such as bolts, tires and undercarriage, are worth about $85 million. According to the report, the Pentagon investigated the circumstances of only 2 percent of the losses.
Spare parts are stored in various warehouses around the world for use by allied nations that buy the F-35, making it difficult to keep track of the inventory.
According to the GAO, the F-35 program has no established procedures to track losses, so the plane’s manufacturer
Lockheed Martin did not report more than 900,000 spare parts “disappearance”.
The agency blamed parts losses in part on the Pentagon’s failure to properly oversee parts handled by the department and subcontractors. Department officials and the companies have not reached an agreement on whether the parts should be categorized as government-provided property, hampering proper inventory tracking.
The GAO’s report is another black spot in the $1.7 trillion F-35 program, which has already been plagued by many problems, most recently in March of last year the planes had to be recalled worldwide due to a technical error. In addition, a recent study also revealed that
the US F-35 fleet has only about 30 percent “fully deployable” in condition
on a given day.
Opening image: defenceimagery.mod.uk