UK MOD in a muddle over F-35C

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Unread post21 Mar 2020, 10:38

UK Declared F-35 Operational Despite Issues, Auditors Say [best read at source]
19 Mar 2020 Tony Osborne

"LONDON—The UK declared the F-35 operational even though the fleet was suffering from availability, infrastructure, logistics and security issues, auditors have revealed.

The UK National Audit Office (NAO) found that the December 2018 initial operating capability (IOC) from land bases was granted with 67 exceptions, with almost one-third of those still yet to be resolved more than a year later.

It is not clear on how many criteria IOC (Land) was judged, but the process is common practice, officials say, noting that waiting for all issues to be fully addressed before declaring the aircraft operational would “needlessly withhold” the capability from the front-line.... [more details best read at source]

...The NAO notes that 20 of the exemptions had still not been resolved as of February of this year, but also says the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy have made progress in the areas of training personnel and logistics. Aerospace Daily understands that of the 67 exemptions, only six now remain and will be resolved by year’s end.

The UK now has 15 F-35Bs based in the country flying with front-line unit 617 Sqdn. and with 207 Sqdn, a training unit. Since their arrival to the UK, the aircraft have been deployed to Cyprus and flown operational missions in the Middle East. They also recently took part in a Tier 1 Red Flag exercise with Five Eyes partners Australia and the U.S...."

Source: ... ditors-say
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