Lawmakers pressure LM pay back Pentagon F-35 parts problems

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spazsinbad

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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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Unread post11 Aug 2020, 16:08

Here is another article on F-35 spare parts, blaming the quality issues on the parts being shipped directly to end users rather than the prime contractor, Lockheed, for inspection.

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news ... rt-problem
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Unread post11 Aug 2020, 18:41

AIUI, EELs are an electronic record of the life of a part from cradle to grave and everything in-between; when it was built, when installed on which BuNo, remained on-wing for X hours, removed for...on certain date, repaired when, etc, etc.

If a part is repaired and returned without the part’s EELs or with an incomplete EELs — it is non-RFI until subject EELs is complete and correct, even though the physical condition and function of the part may be good to go. Time and pain rectifying EELs is not something an operating unit should have to endure. Good that LMs feet are feeling uncomfortably warm on this.
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Unread post11 Aug 2020, 19:43

quicksilver wrote:AIUI, EELs are an electronic record of the life of a part from cradle to grave and everything in-between; when it was built, when installed on which BuNo, remained on-wing for X hours, removed for...on certain date, repaired when, etc, etc.

If a part is repaired and returned without the part’s EELs or with an incomplete EELs — it is non-RFI until subject EELs is complete and correct, even though the physical condition and function of the part may be good to go. Time and pain rectifying EELs is not something an operating unit should have to endure. Good that LMs feet are feeling uncomfortably warm on this.



Except the parts were being accepted as conformant. That's the problem. If the parts had been rejected and
returned to the vendors it would be different.

This sounds more like a workaround where they traded quicker spares provisioning (shipped directly to the unit)
against the longer pole of vendors going through the prime contractor.
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Unread post11 Aug 2020, 19:50

Then shame on operating forces for doing so. They should have flicked the boogers back from whence they came (long, long ago), and had the JPO withhold money. Near term readiness pain worth the long term gain, IMO.
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Unread post11 Aug 2020, 20:06

quicksilver wrote:Then shame on operating forces for doing so. They should have flicked the boogers back from whence they came (long, long ago), and had the JPO withhold money. Near term readiness pain worth the long term gain, IMO.


And DCMA. Looks like they didn't have a compliance mechanism in place until 2017.

They were claiming $20,000 of DOD labor per part to correct the EELs.
Which was knocked down to a lower number when they testified.

Theses things end up at ABSCA which is the right place to adjudicate them.

That glorified excel spreadsheets are newsworthy is incredible.
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Unread post11 Aug 2020, 21:04

“...Looks like they didn't have a compliance mechanism in place until 2017.”

Ohhhh, that’s waaay ugly...
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Unread post29 Sep 2020, 21:50

Here’s what Lockheed will have to do to make up for F-35 spare parts problems
29 Sep 2020 Valerie Insinna

"WASHINGTON — The Defense Department and Lockheed Martin reached a handshake agreement that will require Lockheed to invest about $70.6 million to fix an ongoing problem with F-35 spare parts that resulted in increased government labor costs, the department announced on Sept. 29.

Over the past few months, Lockheed and the Defense Contracts Management Agency have been locked in a dispute over more than 15,000 F-35 spare parts sent to the U.S. military with incorrect or incomplete “electronic equipment logs” or EELs, which allow the parts to be absorbed into the F-35′s logistics system and installed on the jet. Lockheed and the Defense Contracts Management Agency expect a final agreement to be formalized sometime within the next two weeks or so, said DCMA spokesman Matthew Montgomery, who confirmed the $70.588 million deal to Defense News.

The use of EELs — which allow the government to track the usage and lifespan of major F-35 parts — is unique to the joint strike fighter program and is meant to help inform smarter, more cost-effective maintenance and buying practices.... when parts are delivered with inaccurate EEL information, it can take hours for military maintainers and Lockheed support personnel to track down the correct data that will allow a part to be uploaded into the system and installed in the aircraft....[then more explanation]

...The final sum of the agreement is less than half of the $183 million sum that DCMA initially projected that the government had spent to correct wrong or incorrect EELs since 2015. It was not immediately clear why DCMA had agreed to a compensation deal worth so much less than the department’s estimated costs....

...Greg Ulmer, Lockheed’s vice president for the F-35 program, said then that the company should not take all of the blame for the spare parts problems. “It’s not all associated with Lockheed Martin performance. There are many aspects associated with [parts that are] not ready for issue,” he said." (This is a developing story and will be updated throughout the day.)"

Source: https://www.defensenews.com/air/2020/09 ... -problems/
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Unread post29 Sep 2020, 23:35

spazsinbad wrote:
Here’s what Lockheed will have to do to make up for F-35 spare parts problems
29 Sep 2020 Valerie Insinna

"WASHINGTON — The Defense Department and Lockheed Martin reached a handshake agreement that will require Lockheed to invest about $70.6 million to fix an ongoing problem with F-35 spare parts that resulted in increased government labor costs, the department announced on Sept. 29.


Lol. So DCMA's initial estimate was $303 million. Which collapsed to $180 million in testimony. And finally it's down
to $70.6 million which Lockheed will expend as IRAD...wow.

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