How F-35s Will Be Supported WorldwideTony Osborne
Now that Lockheed Martin F-35s will be entering operational service beyond the Continental U.S., the Joint Program Office (JPO) is laying out plans to maintain and sustain critical components of the far-flung aircraft. While sites for airframe and engine maintenance, repair and overhaul have largely been defined, on Nov. 7, the JPO announced its selection of industry and government partners that will look after 65 of 774 repairable components on the aircraft. These “high-value” components—including landing gear, electronic and electrical parts, fuel, mechanical and hydraulic systems, as well as ejection seats—will be supported in both the European and Pacific regions where many of the F-35 operators are congregated. Agreements on the remaining 709 items will be signed within the next three years, paving the way for additional work for the other partner nations. Here is a brief overview of countries that have been contracted to perform this work.