23:57 GMT25 January 2021
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Lockheed Martin must face accountability for its continuing and expensive failure to provide enough spare parts for the troubled F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, senior members of the House Oversight and Reform Committee said in a letter on Tuesday.

    "The military is spending tens of millions of dollars a year to overcome unresolved issues with the system Lockheed Martin built and maintains to track spare parts for the F-35", the letter said. "It is critical that ongoing issues related to spare parts and the shortcoming of the information technology system that supports the F-35 are addressed to prevent continued degradation of warfighter readiness".

    Oversight Committee Chair Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and Committee members Stephen Lynch, Jackie Speier and Ro Khanna sent the letter to Lockheed Martin CEO James Taiclet, according to a press release.

    "These problems must be resolved quickly as they create a significant administrative burden for military maintenance personnel", the letter said.

    In June 2019, the Department of Defence Inspector General estimated that the Pentagon had spent more than $300 million on additional labor costs between 2015 and 2018 as a result of Lockheed Martin’s failure to provide F-35 spare parts with logs and that the Defence Department would continue to pay $55 million a year if those issues were not resolved, the release noted.

    In March 2020, the Government Accountability Office reported that, at one location, F-35 maintenance personnel warned that during a six-month period in 2019, they experienced up to 400 issues per week of inaccurate or missing electronic logs, the release added.

    Lockheed Martin F-35C Joint Strike Fighter, Lockheed Martin, US Congress, United States
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