The Devil is in the Details for the F-35

| Walter Pincus
Walter Pincus
Contributing Sr. National Security 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 contributing senior national security columnist for 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.

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