The Devil is in the Details for the F-35

| Walter Pincus
Walter Pincus
Columnist, The Cipher Brief

Walter Pincus’ Fine Print in The Cipher Brief — OPINION –A lack of spare parts has kept some 350 F-35 Lightning Joint Strike Fighters, already deployed at sites worldwide, from flying or conducting any of their tasked missions, 30 percent of the time, according to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released last week.

It was always known that sustaining the complex, stealthy, F-35 aircraft, that cost some $90 million per plane, would be a difficult and expensive proposition, but the new GAO report points out how unprepared both the military services and prime contractor, Lockheed Martin were, for the task.

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The Author is Walter Pincus

Walter Pincus is a Columnist and the Senior National Security Reporter at The Cipher Brief. He spent forty years at The Washington Post, writing on topics from nuclear weapons to politics.  In 2002, he and a team of Post reporters won the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting. He also won an Emmy in 1981 and the 2010 Arthur Ross Award from the American Academy for Diplomacy.  He can be reached at wpincus@thecipherbrief.com.

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