According to a report from the Project on Government Oversight, the F-35 Lightning II test fleet was only 8.7% fully mission capable in June.
The F-35 has been plagued with problems, including issues landing at high temperatures and loss of cabin pressure.
Former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis called for an 80% mission-capable rate across the F-35, F-22, F-16, and F-18 fleets by September.
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The US military’s F-35 Joint Strike Force program may be in trouble due to its abysmal mission readiness rates, according to a report from the Project on Government Oversight (POGO).
POGO’s report is based on a chart from the Joint Program Office’s Integrated Test Force showing that the 23-aircraft test fleet had a “fully mission capable” rate of 8.7% in June — an improvement over its May mission-capable rate of 4.7%. The average rate was just 11% for December 2018 through June.
The F-35 program has been plagued with problems; loss of cabin pressure and aircraft control and serious issues in both hot and cold conditions are just a few of the challenges facing the Pentagon’s most expensive weapons system.
Such low rates can typically be attributed to a lack of spare parts or one of the many previously reported problems. The POGO report specifically points to issues with the aircraft’s Distributed Aperture System, which warns F-35 pilots of incoming missiles. While the aircraft can still fly without the system being fully functional, it’s a necessary component in combat.
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The Lightning II test fleet is actually performing far worse than the full F-35 fleet, but even that rate is less than ideal — it was only 27% fully mission capable between May and December …read more
Source:: Business Insider