17:15 GMT15 June 2021
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - All three variants of the F-35 fighter jet fleet do not fulfill the set metrics regarding the aircraft’s reliability or maintainability, Defence Department Operational Test and Evaluation Director Robert Behler said in congressional testimony on Wednesday.

    "Operational suitability of the F-35 fleet remains below service expectations", Behler told the US House Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness and Tactical Air and land Forces. "No F-35 variant meets these specified reliability or maintainability metrics".

    Behler explained that the F-35 aircraft breaks down more often and the necessary repairs take more time than expected.

    However, Behler pointed out that all participants in the US-led international F-35 program are making good progress.

    "The Department of Defense is collaborating closely with its partners to evaluate the F-35 survivability and readiness", Behler said.

    The fifth-generation jet has three variants: the F-35A conventional takeoff and landing variant, the F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing variant and the F-35C aircraft carrier variant.

    Earlier in the day, the Government Accountability Office presented a report saying the F-35 fighter jet fleet has a lack of parts and the underperformance of the Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS).

    Congressional Testimony, US Department of Defense (DoD), F-35 fighter jet
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