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01:58 PM, April 27, 2019
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F-35 Lightning II (Source : Lockheed)

A report released on Thursday by the General Accounting Office (GAO) stated that F-35s were unable to fly 30 per cent of the time because of shortages and mismatched parts. The study was done considering the time period of May to November.

In the report, GAO states that the plane is unable to fly as often as required because of spare parts shortages and logistical problems in moving parts around the world.

Parts for the aircraft are made largely in the United States, but also in other NATO countries, and the report said the Defense Department has not fully determined which actions are required to close the pipeline gap between fighting requirements and the performance of the F-35 supply chain.

The report offered eight major recommendations to rectify the current situation: a comprehensive review of the supply chain by the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment and other high-level Pentagon officials; development of a process for obtaining spare parts; prioritization of F-35 parts deliveries; development of an improved global parts network; an accountability protocol; better comprehensive cost information from prime contractors; better accounting of funds spent on F-35 parts, and a better strategy for management of the F-35 supply chain.

The developer of the plane, Lockheed Martin was also contacted for solving the logistics of parts. Lockheed assured that they have conducted a set of deals with subcontractors which will lower the cost of the F-35, as well as improve the availability of parts.

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