Lawmakers pressure LM pay back Pentagon F-35 parts problems

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Unread post22 Jul 2020, 23:46

Lawmakers pressure Lockheed to pay back Pentagon for F-35 parts problems [BEST READ at SOURCE]
22 Jul 2020 Valerie Insinna

"WASHINGTON — Lockheed Martin’s F-35 program head on Wednesday refused to commit to fully compensating the U.S. Defense Department for delivering parts not ready to be installed on the jet, which may have resulted in more than $183 million in labor costs. “It’s not all associated with Lockheed Martin performance. There are many aspects associated with [parts that are] not ready for issue,” Greg Ulmer, Lockheed’s vice president for the F-35 program, told the House Oversight and Reform Committee. “I’m committed to meeting with the Defense Contract Management Agency as well as the [government’s F-35 Joint Program Office] to sit down and reconcile the concerns and adjudicate the cost appropriately.”

It was a response that lawmakers on the committee — which held a hearing July 22 to explore the beleaguered jet’s ongoing sustainment problems — were not happy with. Much of the hearing’s discussion centered on a June 2019 report from the Defense Department’s inspector general, which found that the department may have paid up to $303 million in labor costs since 2015 to correct wrong or incomplete “electronic equipment logs” or EELs. Since then, the Defense Contract Management Agency revised that estimate to at least $183 million, said Rep. Carolyn Maloney, the committee’s chairwoman. “That’s $183 million that the American taxpayers were forced to pay because Lockheed Martin failed to meet the requirements of its contract,” Maloney said in her opening comments....

...The defense official said the program will continue to use EELs for parts that are critical to safety or have a limited life span, but that the program was gathering life cycle data for many parts where that information historically hasn’t been tracked in legacy fighter programs. “I think when you have the ability to start collecting all kinds of data electronically, maybe we were too aggressive on how many parts we assigned EELs to,” the official said...." [VERY LONG ARTICLE]

Source: https://www.defensenews.com/air/2020/07 ... -problems/
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Unread post23 Jul 2020, 13:58

House Oversight Probes F-35 Sustainment Problems
22 Jul 2020 Rachel S. Cohen

"[similar info to above post - another long article - then...] ...“Our EEL parts ready-for-install rate reached 83 percent [last month], with a target goal of 90 percent this year,” said F-35 Program Executive Officer Lt. Gen. Eric T. Fick. “Beginning in 2021, the contracted requirement for parts ready-to-issue will be 99 percent.”

House Committee on Oversight and Reform Chairwoman Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.) argued Lockheed jeopardizes pilots’ trust by falling short of their contract obligations while people continue to fly the F-35. Even if a jet is missing logs for certain parts, it can still fly as long as those parts are not nearing the end of their lifespan or are not deemed necessary for safety.

The Air Force allows its F-35s to fly with parts that come with faulty logs, and are not ready to install, while the Navy and Marine Corps do not....

...The Pentagon and Lockheed Martin are making a slew of fixes to the faulty Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS), the parts management enterprise that tracks F-35 components and electronic logs. Those tweaks have tried to improve accountability for parts that use ALIS, streamline data entry, and improve training for F-35 handlers.

ALIS will be replaced by a more advanced logistics system, named the Operational Data Integrated Network (ODIN), in the next few years. The Air Force plans to receive the first ODIN hardware in September. But Diana Maurer, the Government Accountability Office’s director of defense capabilities and management, warned that the military needs a clearer sense of what ODIN will do and who will oversee it to avoid the same mistakes made with ALIS.

Pentagon acquisition boss Ellen M. Lord said ODIN will cost about $550 million over the next five years, starting with coding work on three applications that enable the system. That money was originally slated for a different revamp of ALIS, but will now fund the move to ODIN.

Nailing down a cost-effective, easy-to-use sustainment enterprise is crucial to the F-35’s long-term success as the Pentagon continues to grow the fleet, which is valued at more than $1 trillion. Those efforts come as the military looks to grow the number of fighter jets that can quickly deploy into combat and shrink flight costs from $35,000 per hour."

Source: https://www.airforcemag.com/house-overs ... -problems/
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