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IPFS News Link • Military

Lockheed Running Out Of Parking Space For F-35s Pentagon Refuses To Accept

•, by Tyler Durden

The worst of the software glitches affect the F-35's radar and electronic warfare systems, "with some test pilots reporting that they had to reboot their entire radar and electronic warfare systems mid-flight to get them back online," says GAO. Gee, that sounds kinda bad.  

As the TR-3 woes continue, the jets are stacking up at Lockheed's facilities. Referencing a milestone that had already passed when it published its report, GAO wrote, "If TR-3 software is delayed past April 2024, Lockheed Martin is projected to exceed its maximum parking capacity and will need to develop a plan to accommodate more parked planes." Deflecting concerns, in a statement last week, Lockheed said, "Specific details about parking will not be shared due to security considerations." 

Even while they're parked at Lockheed, the jets present a liability risk to the government, thanks to contract provisions under which "the government assumes the risk of loss of aircraft 'in the open,' which is subject to the contractor's share of loss and deductible under the contract," GAO reports.  

GAO says the software won't be stabilized until "at least June 2024." Whenever that day comes, it will only be the beginning of the end of this latest chapter, as GAO says eventual delivery of the backlogged jets will take a year.   

In the meantime, silly taxpayer, don't bother asking for a specific number of undelivered F-35s. In a lack of transparency that's surely driven soley by a desire to shield the military-industrial complex from embarrassment, "DOD deemed reporting the specific quantity of aircraft to be unsuitable for public release," said GAO.  

The chairman of the House Armed Services tactical air and land forces subcommittee gave reporters a strong hint last week. "We know one thing for certain: it's going to be at least over 100 aircraft stacked up on the tarmac," said Rep. Rob Wittman (R-VA), according to Defense One