Pentagon loses one million F-35 elements — RT World Information

Investigators have discovered that the US navy can’t account for lacking fighter-jet parts valued at $85 million

The US Division of Protection (DOD) has been unable to account for about 1 million lacking spare elements for its F-35 Lightning II fighter jet, the most costly weapon system within the nation’s historical past, a authorities overview has discovered.

The misplaced elements, which embrace such objects as bolts, tires, and touchdown gear, are valued at about $85 million, the Authorities Accountability Workplace (GAO) reported on Tuesday. Since 2018, the Pentagon has reviewed the circumstances surrounding solely 2% of recognized elements losses.

“With out DOD taking steps to make sure that these spare elements are accountable underneath a contract, the F-35 Joint Program Workplace (JPO) might be unable to both achieve or keep accountability over these spare elements and won’t have information, akin to areas, prices, and portions, wanted for monetary reporting or to make sure that authorities pursuits are protected,” the GAO mentioned.

The spare elements are saved all over the world to be used on the F-35 by the US navy and allied nations which have bought the plane, which is made by protection contractor Lockheed Martin. As a result of the Pentagon’s F-35 JPO lacks a course of for monitoring losses, Lockheed Martin hasn’t reported on over 900,000 extra spare elements valued at greater than $66 million for overview, the GAO mentioned.

The GAO’s report marks simply the most recent black eye for the $1.7 trillion F-35 program, which has been affected by reliability struggles, together with a problem with engine vibration that led to a worldwide recall order in March. Solely about 30% of America’s F-35 fleet is “absolutely mission succesful” on any given day. US Air Power Lieutenant Normal Michael Schmidt warned final month {that a} skinny provide of spare elements may jeopardize the flexibility of American forces to maintain the plane in service throughout the nation’s subsequent main battle.

The GAO report blamed the elements losses partly on the Pentagon’s failure to supervise parts which might be owned by the DOD and managed by contractors. DOD officers and the contractors haven’t reached an settlement on whether or not the elements needs to be categorized as government-furnished property, which hinders the processing of misplaced inventories.

As of final October, the Pentagon had over 19,000 spare elements globally that had been awaiting disposition directions from the F-35 JPO – for so long as 5 years in some circumstances. The GAO mentioned the DOD agreed with its 4 suggestions on beefing up accounting for the elements pool.

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